SOMETHING strange could happen at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night.
Having dominated his rivals throughout the season, Tornado Valley is in danger of being beaten!
Undefeated from nine starts this term, Tornado Valley has captured four Group Ones, including the resurrected Inter Dominion.
Chasing a fifth top shelf victory this weekend, the Andy Gath-trained squaregaiter faces “a difficult task” in the Australian Trotting Grand Prix.
“He is up against a pretty tough field with strong form,” Gath said. “It’s not going to be an easy race and we’re aware he has a difficult task ahead of him.
“He’ll have to be at his best if he is to win.”
In what doubles as his title defence, the son of Skyvalley has drawn the middle of the second row.
Despite the obstacle ahead Tornado Valley is a short $1.75 favourite with TAB Fixed Odds, with Dance Craze considered his biggest threat from barrier five.
Listed at $3.20, the mare is also rated as the main danger by Gath.
“He won well a couple of weeks ago when first-up from a break and has improved within himself since,” Gath said. “Dance Craze is a very good mare which I have a lot of respect for.”
Gath will also be represented by Mclovin, which has drawn the outside of the front row.
Although unbeaten from three starts since crossing the Tasman, Mclovin is among the outsiders at $21.
“He has been very impressive since he got here, but this is clearly his biggest test,” Gath said. “The draw hasn’t done him any favours, but it will be interesting to see how he handles it.”
With numerous options available for Tornado Valley in coming months, Gath is yet to decide which avenue he will take with the gelding.
“No decision has been made on what will be next for him,” Gath said. “There is the Rowe Cup in New Zealand and of course taking him to Sweden.
“He hasn’t had a descent spell in the 12 months he’s been here, so he may even be sent to the paddock.
“We’ll see how he comes through this run and I will discuss it with Norm (Jenkin, owner).”