VICTORIAN couple Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin will play a strong hand in next week’s Chariots Of Fire at Club Menangle.
Qualifying Demon Delight for the Group One via last weekend’s Hondo Grattan Stake, the pair got another three entrants into the prestigious feature after preparing the trifecta in tonight’s Paleface Adios Stake.
Hurricane Harley led the way as Out To Play and Fourbigmen filled the placings.
Stewart and Tonkin are no strangers to Chariots Of Fire success, having captured Australasia’s premier four-year-old event with Guaranteed in 2014 and Poster Boy last season.
Tonkin’s father Peter won the 2009 edition with Maffioso.
Hurricane Harley is considered their best chance in pre-draw markets, with TAB Fixed Odds listing the son of Bettors Delight at $6.50.
New Zealand raider Self Assured heads the table at $1.70.
“It is a wonderful result for the team and especially our owners,” Stewart said. “To have one runner in the Chariots is great, but to see four of them get through is fantastic.
“Now we just have to hope for a bit of luck with the draws.”
Driven by Kima Frenning, Hurricane Harley began quickly to find the front from barrier three as Pitch Perfect worked on his outside.
Striding clear of the field at the top of the home straight, Hurricane Harley covered the mile in 1:50.6.
“He felt super,” Frenning said. “I was happy to get a couple of cheap quarters then along home straight I was worried about a late swooper, but he is a real warrior and would have battle on no matter what.
“He has always been a really nice horse but every time I drive him he feels like he is improving and maturing.”
With tonight’s race postponed due to an electrical storm Frenning is glad the lightning had moved on before she arrived at the venue.
“I hate lightning and glad it was over by the time I got there,” Frenning said. “To have lightning hit not far from the back straight is pretty scary.”