YOU’D think driving an odds-on favourite would provide a fair amount of confidence.
In the case of David Moran, however, he isn’t as positive as you might imagine.
Moran is set to partner star pacer Lochinvar Art in Saturday night’s Ballarat Cup, with the five-year-old a $1.25 favourite with TAB Fixed Odds.
Hurricane Harley is the only one other runner under double figures at $8.
Drawn barrier six, Lochinvar Art is likely to be settled outside Hurricane Harley, which is destined to lead from gate two.
That’s where Moran’s confidence is slightly dented.
When Hurricane Harley had no trouble finding the front during the Breeders’ Crown Championship at Tabcorp Park Melton in November, Lochinvar Art was unable to beat the pacemaker.
“Hurricane Harley is always hard to run down when he leads,” Moran said. “From the draw he’s going to find the front in the Cup and we’ll be doing all the work outside him.
“When he beat us in Melton it was over 2240, this time is it 2710 metres and I know Lochinvar Art will tough it out.”
Moran’s dilemma stems further than the initial battle with Hurricane Harley.
With a host of classy pacers in the Group One Moran is concerned about leaving Lochinvar Art vulnerable for a rival such as Wolf Stride to outsprint him along the home straight.
A member of the in-form Sonya Smith and Anthony Butt stable, Wolf Stride has drawn to get a good trail from barrier nine.
The son of Rock N Roll Heaven will follow Hurricane Harley through at the start.
“It’s going to be a balancing act,” Moran said. “Applying enough pressure to Hurricane Harley to take the sting out of him, but not so much that it leaves us open for something to come running down the outside.
“I’ve got no doubt Lochinvar Art can win from the ‘death seat’ but no horse can do too much work over that trip and not be susceptible.
“Lochinvar Art deserves to be favourite, but given the conditions, the field and the run he is likely to endure, I think he is too skinny at $1.25.”