By Duane Ranger
Logan Village trainer, Murray Thomas, wanted the unbeaten Onlysbest to draw one in tonight’s $20,000 Changeover 2yo Classic at Albion Park – instead stablemate, One Hellava Party, copped that ace marble.
“It now means Onlysbest (8) is going to have to make up one-and-half lengths trying to catch some of the smart horses off the front-line,” Thomas said.
“I’m hoping my other fella can hold up, but there is going to be speed on early.
“In an ideal world, Onlysbest would have drawn one and the other one eight, because One Hellava Party follows speed well.”
The two 2-year-old colts are Thomas’s only representatives at Albion Park tonight, and he said Onlysbest could still win the 1,680m mobile if the favours went his way.
“It all comes down to luck in the running,” Thomas said.
“There’s nine in the race and he has drawn in behind his stablemate and it looks a race for the on-pace runners.”
Onlysbest won the first two-year-old race of the season at the same venue on February 4 when he drew two and then won via the sprint-lane in 2:04 even – mile rate 2:00.2.
Then a week later, the Cammibest colt repeated the dose winning from gate seven, sprint-laning again to win in 2:02.2 with a 1:58.3 mile rate.
“We put him out for nine days after that and then we set him for last week’s 2YO race which never got off the ground,” Thomas said.
“So we lined him up in a trial last Saturday and he won that with a two minute mile rate, and then he finished fifth in another trial on Tuesday.”
Queensland’s leading reinsman, Nathan Dawson, who has driven him in both of his starts and all trials runs gets in the driver’s seat again tonight.
Thomas’ right-hand-man, Rob Gorman, will drive One Hellava Party, who was rated a rough place show by his trainer.
“I’ve been trying to get as much work into Onlysbest as possible after the no-race last week as he has a tendency to lug a bit, but we’ve been to the chiropractor and are on top of that,” Thomas said.
“He’s quite strong and gets stronger every time he steps off the property.”
Onlysbest was bred by Ross Patrick, while Monarch Farm bred One Hellava Party, and Thomas explains how both two-year-old pacers came to land in his stable.
“My mate, Dennis Towell, and I bought them both at last year’s Redcliffe Yearling Sale,” Thomas said.
“Dennis had a limit on Onlysbest, but I told him to keep going when his limit was reached.
“In the end we paid $6,500 for him and $2,000 for One Hellava Party.
“They are totally different horses. The ‘ Village Jolt’ (One Hellava Party) is a lot smaller, and has a real turn of foot.
“But I must say, Onlysbest is a bit stronger than the other one at this stage.”
Onlysbest opened up the $6.50 third favourite, while One Hellava Party is the $41 outsider.
The likely ‘two-front runners and toughest to beat’ that Thomas was referring to were the impressive last-start winners, Glitter Strip (3) and This Ones For You (4), whose opening odds were $3.40 and $2.80 respectively.
Sheza Bonnie Sheila (6), who has finished runner-up in both of her Albion Park starts, is the only other juvenile paying single figure odds - the brown filly is the $8 fourth favourite.