SATURDAY night’s Bendigo meeting promises to deliver some intriguing clashes.
With the program consisting mainly of Breeders’ Crown semi-finals, a host of Australasia’s best youngsters will be vying for a berth in next weekend’s Finals.
Recent Vicbred Super Series winner Kualoa will lead the local charge against New Zealand raider, Our Princess Tiffany, which is unbeaten from seven starts.
Drawn barriers three and four, the daughters of Art Major are engaged in the second semi for two-year-old fillies.
Sticking with two-year-olds, Centenario will square off with Im Anothermasterpiece in the opening colts’ and geldings’ qualifier.
Also a Vicbred champion, Centenario has fared better in gate three, with Im Anothermasterpiece – a Group One winner in New Zealand – to come from the outside of the second row.
Interestingly, the Kualoa versus Our Princess Tiffany and the Centenario/Im Anothermasterpiece battle double as ‘power stable’ clashes.
Record-breaking local Emma Stewart prepares the Victorians, while the Kiwis come from the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen barn!
Like her recent Vicbred domination, Stewart has 20 runners in the semis, including several favourites. She had 29 Vicbred semi-finalists.
Another of Stewart’s entrants – Poster Boy – will be part of arguably the most exciting encounter of the card.
Drawn six in the second semi for three-year-old colts and geldings, Poster Boy will meet New South Wales raider, Ignatius.
Touted as Australia’s most exciting prospect, Ignatius will begin from gate five.
Undefeated from 11 starts this season – with a overall record of 16 wins and a third from 17 outings – Ignatius is a $1.55 favourite with TAB Fixed Odds.
Boasting 14 wins and five seconds from 20 starts, Poster Boy is on the second line of betting at $3.80.
Successful in his heat at Bendigo last week, Poster Boy is at his peak for the pending assignment according to Stewart.
“I couldn’t be happier with him,” Stewart said. “He had a freshen up after the Vicbred and has come been coming along nicely since.
“He did well in his heat and the run has topped him off for the semis.
“He’s in great shape going into this, but he needs to be given the strength of the field.”
For all her confidence in the son of Somebeachsomewhere, Stewart – who also has Maraetai and Bettor Be Sorry in the field – acknowledges the enormous task of beating a rampaging Ignatius.
“Ignatius has looked sensational in each of his runs and is obviously the one to beat,” Stewart said. “This is a step up on what he has been racing against, but no doubt he is up to it.
“We’ll just have to see how it pans out on the night.”