11 January 2012 - The top fancies will start on the front row in Saturday night’s $50,000 PETstock Bendigo Pacing Cup.Horsham Cup placegetter Decorated Jasper should feature strongly in the Group Two race after drawing barrier one, while star Bendigo mare Make Mine Cullen faces a tougher task from barrier seven.
New Zealand bred gelding Our Malabar will start from barrier three with the Lisa and David Miles-trained 2010 Chariots Of Fire winner Villagem in barrier five.
The 2009 Bendigo Cup-winner Sammy Maguire has drawn barrier six for his New Zealand trainer/driver Mark Purdon..Bendigo Harness Racing Club general manager David Aldred said yesterday Decorated Jasper – second in Sunday’s Horsham Cup – looms as the frontrunner. “He’s racing extremely well, from that draw he’s going to be very hard to beat,” Aldred said. "The pacer is likely to get the run of the race behind the speed and have the last shot in the straight via the sprint lane." But Aldred said the Bendigo Cup would be a good betting race with many horses in with a live chance. “Our Malabar has also drawn very, very well, while Make Mine Cullen and Sammy Maguire are two very classy horses,’’ he said. “The outside line is not going to affect Make Mine Cullen." “Sammy Maguire is probably a bit of a dark horse, we haven’t seen him racing over here for a while. “I think it’s going to be a brilliant betting race, with the horses that we’ve got here it’s a really open field. “At Lord’s Raceway the draw isn’t so important as some of the other tracks because it’s a wider track. There’s plenty of racing room with well banked turns.” Make Mine Cullen enters the race in fine form after winning three of its past four starts, but the Glenn Douglas-trained mare will have history against her on Saturday night. No central Victorian-trained horse has won the Cup since Robric Jonboy in 2004, while the last mare to win was Mother Courage in 2002. Make Mine Cullen finished an unlucky ninth in last year’s Bendigo Cup. Meanwhile, the highly-fancied I Didn’t Do It has not accepted for Saturday night’s other feature race - the Aldebaran Park Maori Mile. Sedgwick trotter Will Trapper will be a the favourite despite drawing barrier seven. The John Noonan-trained gelding has two wins and a third place in its last three starts, but should be challenged by Good Thanks and New Zealand horse Miss Warbucks.“The rest of these horses are capable of winning it as well. “(Will Trapper’s wide draw) makes his job a little more difficult, but John Noonan has got him going sensationally,” Aldred said. “It’s a good betting race, Will Trapper being drawn wide opens up the betting.” Aldred is hoping for a bumper crowd of more than 3000 people at Lord’s Raceway in Junortoun on Saturday night. A trip to Paris is up for grabs for one lucky racegoer. Mr Aldred said people needed to collect a coupon from the Bendigo Advertiser and place it in the barrel on course to be in the running for the Paris holiday. “I reckon we’ll get a sensational crowd to see some of the year’s best racing in Bendigo - I just hope the weather is good,” he said. First of nine races on Bendigo Pacing Cup night is at 6.30pm when the Mitavite F