WITH the battle for a berth in next month’s Inter Dominion becoming tighter by the day, connections of well-performed trotter Illawong Armstrong will make “one last roll of the dice” next weekend.
Following Illawong Armstrong’s success at Tabcorp Park Melton last night, trainer Jodi Quinlan explained her plans to snare a start in the series with the son of Majestic Son.
A multiple feature winner, which has raced consistently against open company, Illawong Armstrong is sitting precariously at 33 on the third round of rankings released by Harness Racing Victoria on October 31.
In his two starts since the listing, Illawong Armstrong has been checked when looming as a winning chance and scored in 1:56 over 1720 metres.
Illawong Armstrong has to improve by nine positions to make the Inter Dominion cut-off.
There were some major movers between the second and third rankings, including prospects which won country front races, or only ran placings in country front events.
One squaregaiter which has a placing in a country race from three starts moved 17 spots to go from outside to within the cut-off – a statistic Quinlan is hoping will help Illawong Armstrong following his win.
“I know his win was only in a country-front at Melton, but he did win in quicker time than the free-for-all mares in the Group Three,” Quinlan said. “There have been others who have moved significantly after winning or being placed in country front races.
“I understand we can’t rely on that, so we will have one last roll of the dice with him and run him in the free-for-all at Melton next weekend.
“If he can do well in that hopefully it will be enough to get him over the line.”
Driven by Quinlan during his latest triumph, Illawong Armstrong led throughout from barrier two to account for Enrolled and Rock Tonight.
“Unfortunately he never got his chance at his last start after being checked, but did very well this time around,” Quinlan said. “After two runs back this time from he is back to his best and can hopefully take that into next week and beyond.”