BALLARAT trainer Michael Stanley says his top class mare Blucolla Tigerpie will more than likely have to produce the run of her life to complete back-to-back $30,000 Lightning Miles at Ballarat harness races tonight.
However, he is confident she is in the shape to do it.
Blucolla Tigerpie had the distinction of winning the first running of the Laser Electrical Lightning Mile, which coincided with the re-opening the upgraded Bray Raceway circuit in March this year. She ran 1:55.6.
As impressive as that run was, Stanley is sure she will run faster this time.
He believes a sub-1:52 is possible on what he has no doubt is the best track in Victoria – especially with big-time player and champion pacer Smoken Up engaged.
Stanley also said Smoken Up’s presence would ensure the mile was run truly.
He has no doubt Smoken Up will figure in an early battle for the lead – most likely to polemarker and fellow group 1 winner Restrepo.
Stanley said Lance Justice would most likely want to lead on Smoken Up, but he believed Restrepo had the brilliance to have a say in this.
He said Smoken Up’s stablemate Im Barney Rubble, which also possessed plenty of early speed, might be a wildcard in the early battle for the lead.
Stanley does not mind who finds the lead, as long as the pace is on to enable him to find a sit in the running line midfield with Blucolla Tigerpie.
Stanley is pleased with the shape he has Blucolla Tigerpie, despite what a quick glance at her form might suggest.
Her latest two runs in New South Wales are best ignored.
She locked wheels when Stanley was confident of a top two finish in the group 2 Robin Dundee, and then fired up and over-raced after an incident at the start of group 1 Treuer Memorial.
Stanley said he had given the six-year-old a few days off after returning home from that trip and she was on track for being where he wanted her.
“She’s working well and trialled well (in Ballarat on Saturday),” he said.
Stanley said this preparation was always going to be tough, given she was now a free-for-aller.
“You can’t dodge anyone.
“It’s just a matter of being patient and waiting for your chance.”
The Lightning Mile, which is offering $20,000 in speed incentives, is on an eight-race program, which also features the $10,500 VHRSC Snowball Series final after heats at Charlton and semi-finals at Maryborough.