RECENT stable acquisition Stress Factor is in a strong position to provide trainer Brent Lilley with another Group One.
Enjoying a high rate of success with squaregaiters in recent years, Lilley has Stress Factor engaged in Sunday’s Victoria Trotters’ Derby at Maryborough.
Fresh from his win at Melton last weekend, the three-year-old has drawn barrier three in the Seelite Windows and Doors-sponsored Classic.
Pleased with the gelding’s progress since his Australian debut, Lilley believes the son of Majestic Son is primed to play a major role in the Blue Riband.
“He has come through the run well and seems great within himself,” Lilley said. “I’m very pleased with where he is at and am looking forward to the race.
“The draw couldn’t be better as he has good gate speed and it will be use from there.
“He enjoys the distance and has won over the longer trip against older horses, so he will thrive under the conditions.”
Referring to the field as “packed with top young trotters”, Lilley rates the Andy Gath-trained stablemates as the biggest danger.
Gath will be represented by Reils, Scallywag Sam and Success Counts, with each heading into the feature with strong form.
A last start winner, Reils will begin from the pole, while Scallywag Sam – which has won his last three outings – has received gate five.
Completing a hat-trick at Bendigo three weeks ago, Success Counts has drawn barrier six.
“Andy’s three are all pretty handy and in good form,” Lilley said. “They are going to be the hardest to beat.”