The 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season is drawing to a close.
The remaining leg of the series is the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake which is staged at Albion Park on July 21.
And while most expect champion New Zealand pacer Lazarus to be crowned Grand Circuit champion for the second straight season, it’s not a lock.
As it stands, Lazarus holds a healthy 99 point lead over his nearest rival.
Trainer Mark Purdon has indicated that his prized stallion will now spell following his unplaced effort in last Saturday’s Miracle Mile in Sydney and therefore, bypasses the remaining feature.
So, that leaves the door slightly ajar.
And the only horse that has any remote chance of snatching the prestigious title from under the nose of Lazarus is Soho Tribeca and connections know that they can take the crown.
Raced by Rob Watson and prepared by Michael Stanley, the regally bred American Ideal entire is being considered for the Sunshine State feature.
If he travels north, he must win the Blacks A Fake to be crowned Grand Circuit champion and victory will see him pass Lazarus by a solitary point.
“Rob has plans of standing him at stud once his racing days are over and the title of Grand Circuit champion is a very nice bonus to have on your resume so we’re definitely considering the trip.” Stanley said.
Soho Tribeca produced an extraordinarily brave effort in last Saturday’s Miracle Mile when a close-up third behind My Field Marshal and Jilliby Kung Fu in an Australasian record time of 1:46.9.
And that’s after sitting parked throughout.
Already a winner of the Gr.1 WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park in January, the richly talented five-year-old then finished a gutsy second in the Hunter Cup behind Lazarus.
“He’s had a remarkable season starting with his Inter Dominion series where he ended up as the top point scorer before winning the WA Pacing Cup and then placing in the Hunter Cup from a terrible draw.
“Kim (Prentice - previous trainer/driver) deserves all the credit because he laid the foundation for the season that he’s had, he hasn’t gone a bad race all campaign.
“The effort in the Miracle Mile was phenomenal, I’m so proud of the horse and the Brisbane trip could fit in nicely. I’ll sit down and have a good look at the programs and then discuss with Rob.”
Soho Tribeca ranks as a half-brother to Saturday night’s Gr.1 $200,000 Ladyship Mile winner Carlas Pixel (14 wins from 39 starts - $298k) plus handy performers Birdy Mach (23 wins from 71 starts - $214k) and Perfect Mach (14 wins from 99 starts - $125k).
Stanley, based at Burrumbeet in Victoria, has quickly emerged as a leading force in the training ranks and prepares a quality team including several for Watson and his Soho Standardbreds.
Talented filly Soho Burning Love finished a game second behind Shez All Rock in the Gr.1 $200,000 New South Wales Oaks on Saturday night at Menangle.
Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | February 28