By Adam Hamilton
AUSTRALASIA’S champion trotter Tornado Valley is ready to rock.
The former Inter Dominion champion hasn’t raced since winning at Melton on March 21, but is “raring to go,” according to trainer Andy Gath.
“If the meeting wasn’t at Shepparton next week (Saturday week), he’d be going there, but as you, he’s an awfully traveller in the float so we’ll wait another week,” Gath said.
“I’m waiting for the calendar to be finalised, but if there’s a free-for-all at Bendigo the week after (August 22), he’ll probably go there.”
Tornado Valley has been Australia’s dominant trotting for almost three years, but wins in the Melbourne Inter Dominion and Great Southern Star just a few months back stamped himself as the best in this part of the world.
But the challengers are coming from everywhere.
When he returns, he will have fight on his hands against the likes of Wobelee, his stablemate McLovin and even the best version of Dance Craze for the title as Australia’s best trotter.
But when you’ve won 35 races – eight of them at Group 1 level – and almost $800,000, you have earned a strong grip on the title.
In the meantime, Wobelee and McLovin continue their fantastic recent rivalry in a 2200m free-for-all at Ballarat on Saturday night.
McLovin won the first of their three consecutive stoushes this campaign, but Wobelee has taken the past two.
Wobelee draws outside the front row this time, while McLovin in the lone back row runner and 2200m around Ballarat will really suit him.
McLovin has firmed from $2.60 to $2.40 with the Aussie TAB, while Wobelee is $2.80 second elect.
McLovin’s stablemate and recent Kiwi import C K Spur steps-up sharply in grade, but has the pole. He’s a $4.20 shot.
“With the regional racing, it was the only race for him. Ideally we wouldn’t have him against these top ones just yet,” Gath said.