The door is slightly ajar.
Queensland pacer Mattgregor still has a chance of qualifying for the Gr.1 $500,000 TAB Inter Dominion Grand Final at Melton next Saturday.
He sits right on the precipice.
But the Chantal Turpin and Pete McMullen trained gelding needs a top three finish in the final round of heats at Cranbourne tomorrow night (Saturday) to stamp his ticket to the big dance next week.
And then rely on other results.
“I suppose we’re still in the mix to sneak into the final but he needs to race well this weekend to show he deserves his place in the final, a top three finish would propel our chances of qualifying. We’re in the final heat so at least we should know what’s required to get us into the final by that stage.” Turpin said.
Mattgregor sits 16th, currently ranked on 14 points.
On the opening night last weekend, Mattgregor was responsible for a tidy 7th after starting from a nasty second-line draw and covering ground over the concluding stages before finishing 5th on Tuesday night after having his chance on the speed.
Mattgregor will start gate two in the 2555m event tomorrow night but faces series favourite Cruz Bromac from the stables of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen.
Cruz Bromac has drawn gate four and is listed at $1.09.
“It was a pass mark for his opening heat but probably a shade disappointing on Tuesday night given the trip he got, Pete’s drive was extremely good and deserved a better result.
“This is his best draw this weekend and hopefully we can sit handy on the pace again, an ideal scenario would be to lead and then hand over to Cruz Bromac which would give us every opportunity for a top three finish.
“He’s handling the series quite well, we’ve always looked after him since he first arrived and we were a little unsure how he would cope but all signs are good right now. Three runs in a week at this level is intense.
“If we qualify, well that’s great and a super proud moment for the family but if we don’t, the consolation will be the focus and hopefully we can take that home.”
The last Queensland trained pacer to qualify for an Inter Dominion Grand Final was Avonnova; the triple Queensland Horse of the Year finished an unlucky 4th behind Lennytheshark at Gloucester Park back in 2015.
The only Queensland trained Inter Dominion winner is four times champion Blacks A Fake, the greatest pacer of all time!
Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | December 7 | Photo by Dan Costello