LAST year he set an Australasian record during the rich futurity, and come Saturday night, he will “more than likely” have to do it again.
Completing a clean sweep of the New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge, Bar Room Banta won his semi-final in a Southern Hemisphere record 1:50.3 before capturing the Final a week later in 1:51.3.
Bar Room Banta will return to Club Menangle to defend his title on the weekend, with Victorian trainer Michael Stanley aware of the monumental task awaiting the colt.
“He’s got a big job ahead of him,” Stanley said. “Especially given the way the draw has fallen.”
To be driven by Luke McCarthy, Bar Room Banta has drawn the outside of the front row – barrier 12.
The son of A Rocknroll Dance slots into 10 with the removal of the emergencies.
Making matters worse, Bar Room Banta’s main danger – Titian Raider – has drawn perfectly in the pole…hence the possible need for a record run.
Balraj boasts the title as the fastest three-year-old this side of the equator after stopping the clock in 1:49.1 at Club Menangle in August 2019.
“The draw pretty much couldn’t be any worse,” Stanley said. “We’ve drawn as wide as we possibly can and Titian Raider will come out of one.
“But that’s why we have Luke driving, as no one drives the track better than he does.
“I’d say it is a fair bet the winner will more than likely break 1:50 and may even have to break a record.”
While he rates Titian Raider as the one to beat, Stanley is also wary of Captain Crusader.
Prepared by Rickie Alchin, Captain Crusader has won his heat and semi, with the latter coming in 1:50.5.
The Australian Pacing Gold purchase has drawn barrier five, but moves into four after the emergencies are taken out.
“Titian Raider is in magnificent form and has the draw on his side,” Stanley said. “But Captain Crusader is also flying and will right in this.
“My bloke has pulled up great from his run in the semi and will be ready to do his best again.”