IT’S a good thing Crunch Time doesn’t care about what odds he is.
Engaged in tonight’s Australian Pacing Gold Final at Albion Park, Crunch Time is the rank outsider of the field.
But the son of Somebeachsomewhere has proven it matters little to him!
The despised runner in his heat, Crunch Time upstaged his more fancied rivals to earn his position in the Group One decider.
The longest priced runner, the Rickie Alchin-trained gelding captured his qualifier at Tabcorp Park Menangle paying $51 on the tote a fortnight ago.
This time around Crunch Time is listed at $101 after drawing the outside of the front row.
“He doesn’t know what odds he is,” Alchin said. “He’ll be out there doing his best just like he did in his heat.
“Whether he can pull off another upset is doubtful, but anything can happen in racing.
“He’s good within himself, settled in well and is ready to go, but it is a tricky draw.
“He has got gate speed but whether we use it depends on what’s under him, so I have no idea where he’ll be in the run.
“We’ll just have to weigh up the options in first 100 or so metres.”
On the opposite end of the scale, Alchin believes Jilliby Nitro is all but a certainty as the $1.30 favourite.
Winner of his first three starts, including the Bathurst Gold Crown, Jilliby Nitros was second in his heat when returning from a break.
Multiple feature winner Mach Dan won the heat but has been scratched from the $350,550 Final after suffering a fractured hock which will see him sidelined for a minimum four months.
Expected to improve for the outing, Jilliby Nitros will begin from barrier two for Victorian trainer Marg Lee.
“Barring bad luck the favourite will win,” Alchin said. “I feel he is the best in the race and the draw has set it up for him.”