STABLE loyalties will be divided for tonight’s Group 3 feature at Tabcorp Park Menangle.
For the past 18 months or so former Riverina horseman Jason Grimson and former Kiwi trainer-driver Jack Trainor have been happy to share stables at the Menangle Training Centre, just a few hundred metres from the best track in the Southern Hemisphere.
Both have been successful and are always quick to help each other out with both their teams, which have been expanding rapidly.
Yet tonight they will be looking to go one up when the pair provide four of the 10 runners in the night’s feature, the $30,600 Garrards Horse And Hound FFA (1609m).
Trainor will drive his current stable star Pocket Of Terror, now being mooted as a possible Inter Dominion candidate later in the year, following a smart win over 2300m at Menangle two weeks ago.
And with former premiership winner David Aiken currently campaigning a small team in Sydney, Trainor has snapped up the veteran reinsman to drive his other contender, the former Queenslander Makoa, who is chasing his first win for Trainor in almost eight months.
Grimson, meanwhile, has two definite chances in the race in Majestic Cruiser and Hidden Courage, both last-start Menangle winners.
Normally Trainor would be aboard one of those and he certainly knows both pacers well.
Grimson has young reinsman Corey Peterson driving Majestic Cruiser and he’ll be hoping to repeat his effort when successful on the six-year-old gelding at his first start for the stable.
His other chance, Hidden Courage, who went 1:51 with Trainor in the bike at Menangle two weeks ago, will have the services of Sydney’s form reinsman Cameron Hart.
Fast closing in on 100 winners for the season, Hart landed an impressive five winners from the nine races at Penrith on Thursday night and now sits on 97 winners for the season.
Only one man has driven more winners in the state this season. You guessed it; Jack Trainor, who has already cracked the ton and sits on 102 winners.
He’ll be looking to add to that tonight with a handy book of drives, including two of his own stable Mighty Flying Art in Race 2 and Masons Delight in Race 3.
Both have been listed as early favourites, while Trainor will also drive co-trainers Joe and Mary Rando’s stable newcomer Champagne Prince, a former West Australian having his first local start in Race 8.
– MICHAEL COURT