IT’S a tired cliché, but the barrier draw for the New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge Final in a fortnight is crucial.
That’s the call from trainer David Thorn when discussing the prospects of his stable entrant, Anntonia.
The Australian Pacing Gold purchase sealed her berth in the Group One with an effortless semi-final victory at Club Menangle tonight.
Driven by Jack Trainor, Anntonia covered the mile in 1:54 to account for Heavenly Holly and Somethingaboutlexi.
“That was a nice easy run from her,” Thorn said. “Jack didn’t even pull the plugs.
“It was just the kind of run you’d want to have going into a Final.
“The draw is going to be crucial for her as she isn’t quick out but can hold her own.
“If she’s draw out in 10 she’ll settle a long way off them, but closer to the pegs should get her into a good spot early.
“The good thing about Menangle is the long straight so she’ll still be coming home hard no matter where she is in the run.”
Triumphant in the following qualifier, Soho Almasi remains the one to beat in the $125,000 decider according to Thorn.
Soho Almasi beat Anntonia by a head during their heat a fortnight ago.
With Luke McCarthy holding the reins in her semi, Soho Almasi was never seriously challenged on her way to a six-and-a-half metre win from Arma Renegade, with Iamajoyride four metres away third.
Also an APG purchase, the daughter of Mach Three stopped the clock in 1:52.6 to take her record to four wins from five starts.
“Soho Almasi is clearly the one to beat,” Thorn said. “I think that will be the case no matter where she draws.”