THE Gold Ace will have to reserve a trend for favourite if he is win the group 1 $175,000 Ballarat Pacing Cup, 2710m, on Saturday night.
He has been installed the $1.95 favourite with TAB.com.au after drawing the pole and being expected to lead.
Another New Zealander Christen Me is next in betting at $5.50.
Sushi Sushi has been a beaten odds-on favourite in the past two Ballarat Pacing Cups, finishing second to Highview Tommy (2012) and Mah Sish (2013).
The cup has not been a good event for favourites with the likes of superstars Smoken Up, Mr Feelgood (twice) and Blacks A Fake lowering their colours as the punters’ top elect.
Sting Lika Bee was the last favourite to win in 2007.
1.95 The Gold Ace
5.50 Christen Me
6.00 Caribbean Blaster
7.00 Smoken Up
13.00 Keayang Cullen
41.00 Field Officer
41.00 Metro Mike (emerg)
41.00 Pass Them By
61.00 Wartime Sweetheart
81.00 Uncle Wingnut
151.00 Hugo Play
BLITZTHEMCALDER will return to Ballarat on Saturday night with the trotting world at his feet.
Already boasting a big reputation, the four-year-old is poised to make his biggest statement in open company so far in an Australasian Trotting Champion heat, 2710m, on the Ballarat Pacing Cup program.
Blizthemcalder is unbeaten in four starts this season and looks to have the first of two heats at his mercy.
The son of Metropolitan has only ever raced at Bray Raceway once.
He did that in his second visit to the races as a raw two-year-old and delivered with a highly impressive win.
Now trained by Dean Bruan at Lara, Blitzthemcalder has gone to win 21 of 32 starts for more than $350,000.
He runs into some seasoned campaigners, including New Zealand visitor Vulcan, which has earned more than $850,000 in a stellar career for Christchurch trainer Tim Butt.
This is the third year in a row Vulcan has run at this meeting, having contested an Inter-Dominion Trotting Championship heat in 2012 and Australasian championship heat last year.
Blitzthemcalder’s biggest challenger for the final, High Expectations, looms in the second heat.
The United States-bred seven-year-old is flying for Avenel trainer-driver David Aiken, with five wins in seven starts this season, including three on end in his latest runs.
He began the sequence in the Cobram Trotters’ Cup.
He then took out the group 2 Maori Mile at Bendigo before being dominant in the Shepparton Trotters’ Cup on Saturday night.
Mister Zion looms at the main danger off the back mark of 10m.
Mister Zion has the rare distinction of having been a group 1 winner as a pacer and trotter.
He took out an equivalent heat on this night last year and went on to salute in the final at Melton.
This heat will also features up-and-coming Ballarat squaregaiter Empire Earl.
A former New Zealander trained by Michael Stanley, Empire Earl has won three of five starts for the stable and in his latest start stepped up for a third in the Maori Mile.
Ballarat and District Trotting Club has programmed 10 races for Cup Night, with the first at 6.25pm.