IF THE pressure of having the only local runner in tomorrow night’s Maxfield Drilling Raider Stakes Final is getting to Andrew Rawlings, he’s not letting on.
The Burnie trainer was cool, calm and collected yesterday when asked about his colt Johnnyace’s chance of taking out the $30,000 race.
“His preparation has not been too bad and he’s coming along nicely at the right time,” Rawlings said.
“He ran fourth in the heat after drawing wide so with a bit of luck he will have a good run.”
Johnnyace will start from barrier seven, on the second row, for tomorrow night’s 2665m mobile start race.
With regular driver Rohan Hadley on board, Rawlings said the draw would suit his horse.
“He should be able to work in good from there,” he said.
“The two favourites (Quastor Centurion and Beautide) are starting from (barriers) one and two, so if he can hold their backs he should have every chance.”
While Johnnyace has had seven wins from his 35 starts, Rawlings had no doubts about where victory in the Raider Stakes, one of the state’s premier four-year-old races, would sit.
“It would be the biggest by a fair way,” he said.
“It would be one of the biggest of my career as well.”
The Barrie Rattray- trained Beautide, who has won all three of his starts this campaign, looms as Johnnyace’s major challenger.
In tomorrow night’s other feature race, the Adam Brooks Group Granny Smith Final, the Scottsdale-trained Hilda Su, the winner of her last two starts, will go head to head with class six mare Klebnikova Leis and class seven mare Benediction.
Azarenka Leis, trained at Sassafras by Shelley Barnes, will carry Coastal hopes in the 2665m race.
This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.