• Racing Tips
    Draw to play major role in Blue Riband Draw to play major role in Blue Riband

    FRANCO EDWARD - Photo Scott Hamilton

    IT’S a worn out cliché, but the barrier draw is set to play a major role in Friday night’s Western Australia Derby at Gloucester... Draw to play major role in Blue Riband

    IT’S a worn out cliché, but the barrier draw is set to play a major role in Friday night’s Western Australia Derby at Gloucester Park.

    With an even field of youngsters assembled for the Blue Riband, Franco Edward has fared best of the main chances.

    After drawing well in barrier four, the Kyle Harper-trained colt has been listed as a $2.80 favourite with TAB Fixed Odds.

    During his previous outing against a similar assembly a fortnight ago, Franco Edward was at double figures when second behind Eloquent Mach in the Western Gateway from the outside of the front row.

    On that occasion classy three-year-old Patrickthepiranha was a $1.95 favourite from the pole.

    This time around Patrickthepiranha is at $21 from the back line!

    Eloquent Mach, which Harper considers the main danger, is paying $9 from the second row.

    “It’s anyone’s race,” Harper said. “If he gets the right trip he will win.

    “If he doesn’t get a good trip then there are some nice horses to contend with.

    “Going off his last run, and the way he has trained on, he will be very hard to beat.

    “He’s got a handy draw but I will have to assess the speed at the start. On paper he will roll forward, but I’ll see how it pans out.

    “Eloquent Mach is the main danger as he is good enough to overcome the draw especially if there is a bit of speed on.”

    Although the upcoming Pearl Classic is an attractive option, Harper is likely to send Franco Edward for a spell.

    “There is the Pearl next month, but this will probably be it for the season,” Harper said. “He still a bit immature and has some growing to do.

    “From what he’s shown he’s got the potential to be a very special horse.”

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    Paul Courts

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