Tough task for Pike and Downtools in final
$12,000 TARGET: Rodney Pike will pilot Downtools in the final of the Hunter Valley Harness Racing Association Cup at Muswellbrook.
Sawyers Gully trainer-driver Rodney Pike will need to work hard to win the Hunter Valley Harness Racing Association Cup at Muswellbrook after his charge Downtools drew the outside of the second row for Sunday’s $12,000 final.
Downtools will start from barrier 11 with New Zealand runner Ucanifuwant, trained by Margot Lennox at Kearsley, inside the five-year-old gelding.
On the front row Clayton Harmey, also of Sawyers Gully, has two chances at either extremity with Kardashiancrusader out of lane one and Nik Direct out of gate six.
Ellalong’s Michael Formosa will drive Mickey McRooney along the 2170 metre journey for Grenfell trainer Bernard Flaherty.
Horses qualified for final, race No.5 on the card, through heats on February 16.
Maitland Inter City Pace finalists Thingimajig and Hit For Six will also go head-to-head once more in an $8000 C2-C4 event over 2170m.
Josh Osborn, Cameron Davies, Peter Hedges, Bruce Andrews, Ty Robson, Jason Proctor, Rex Spencer, Jamie Bond and Darren Elder will also be part of the eight-race program.
Race one jumps at 2.11pm.
Further afield and fresh from qualifying, Mach Beauty for the group 1 Inter Dominion final at Menangle on March 2 the four-time defending Newcastle premiership-winning trainer Shane Tritton will chase a place in the NSW Derby decider.
Christopher Henry and Yayas Hot Spot will contest heats of the 2400m group 2 series at Menangle on Saturday night.
Tritton will also chase a group 2 victory this weekend with Brave Wiggy going around in the Brian Hancock Cup at Sydney racing headquarters.
Lauren Panella will drive all of Tritton’s starters.
Racing starts at 6.15pm.
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