By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Trainer Brian O’Meara is excited to have finally drawn a handy barrier with Voodoo Priestess.
The five-year-old mare has drawn the ace barrier in the Country Feasts Pace (2710m) at Motukarara Raceway on Sunday and O’Meara believes she will give a good sight from that starting position.
The daughter of Auckland Reactor has placed in two of her last three starts, including a fresh-up effort at Rangiora earlier this month, and O’Meara is hoping she can add a second career win to her tally this weekend.
“I thought she ran great but she pulled too hard,” he said. “I put look-backs on her and she got a wee bit uptight and pulled, but she finished extremely well.
“She is usually a good beginner. I swap between stands and mobiles but we have had no luck with the draws. We have drawn 10, 10, 14, and 15.
“She is not a bad filly, she has just had no luck with the draws at all. Hopefully she will get her chance on Sunday with that draw.”
Meanwhile, O’Meara is looking forward to resuming stablemate Di Caprio’s preparation after his pleasing fifth-placed result in the Gr.1 New Zealand Trotting Cup (3200m) earlier this month.
O’Meara was over the moon with the run, but like many others was ruing the start of the race.
“I thought he went huge,” said O’Meara, whose last runner in the race was back in 1998 with race victor Christian Cullen.
“It was just a shame they had the terrible start. We drew in behind Ray Green’s horse (Copy That) and he never begun at all, so that made it nearly impossible.
“I thought if he had got a cosy run he would take all sorts of beating. But he ran tremendous sections.
“I went to the races at Rangiora and it was amazing to hear the amount of people who said if he had just got away with the field they thought he would have won.
“I have always said he is a great stayer and he would have proven it there.”
Di Caprio will resume at Geraldine next week before O’Meara will start to look for loftier targets.
“He will start at Geraldine next Saturday and if he goes well there he will go to the Green Mile. We will just have to work out a programme from there.”