WITH most of the interstate and Kiwi raiders leaving town following the Miracle Mile carnival, things get should return to normal at Tabcorp Park Menangle tomorrow.
And ‘normal’ usually means a win or two in the “bread and butter” races for trainers like Blake Fitzpatrick, KerryAnn Turner, Craig Cross, Shane and Lauren Tritton and Kevin Pizzuto.
All five stables have excellent chances during eight-race card, with Fitzpatrick likely to strike first with hopes in both the early races for squaregaiters.
Fitzpatrick will hop into the bike in the opening race when he steers $1.70 favourite Empire Bay in the Slingsby Holdings Trotters Mobile.
A first-up winner in a standing start at Menangle last week, Empire Bay has been mixing his starts between mobile and handicaps, but going equally well in both, so should be able to account for a big field with Beta Hanoverdakash and Scenic Sky the only others listed at less than double-figure odds.
The second trotters’ race is race four and Fitzpatrick again has the favourite, albeit in a more open affair.
Perfectly-drawn in gate two, Pegasus Elegance has been listed at $5 in early markets following a fighting second to Sundons Comet over 2300 metres at Menangle last week.
The mile journey should work in Fitzpatrick’s favour, although Joe and Mary Rando have multiple runners in Sundons Comet, which is chasing consecutive wins, and Michael Thomas and Mighty Sunny.
Talented three-year-old Divine State should be able to take out the second race for the Tritton stable.
A former star two-year-old, which won its first four starts last season, including a stunning 1:51.6 win at Menangle, Divine State has struggled to recapture his best form this prepaeation and hasn’t won in almost nine months.
Still he looked to be on the way back to his best when a close fourth in a New South Wales Derby heat a couple of weeks ago, and from gate four, can return to his best.