A TOUGH draw has put a dent in Mach Dan’s bid for another Cup victory.
Unbeaten from four starts this season, the Emma Stewart-trained rising star made light work of the Horsham Cup a fortnight ago.
Thanks to his heat win last night Mach Dan is engaged in Saturday night’s $60,000 Mildura Cup.
With the Group Two drawn on national rating points, the Australian Pacing Gold purchase will begin from the inside of the second row.
“We knew he was going to draw the back line given the preferential conditions,” Stewart said. “It is disappointing Group races such as these aren’t random draws like so many believe they should be.
“But it is what it is and we’ll have to do our best with what is in front of us.
“He has pulled up well from his run in the heat and seems nice and bright within himself.
“As long as he can get a clear run at them he will be right in the finish.”
Mach Dan is one of three Stewart-trained runners in the time-honoured feature, with his stablemates drawn by his side.
Runner-up in his qualifier Like A Wildfire will come from gate eight, with Somewhere Secret – which was third behind Mach Dan – drawn nine.
“They are both racing in strong form and just need an ounce of luck to win a nice race like this,” Stewart said.
“It’ll come down to what kind of run they get on the night.”