Young trainers Kima Frenning and Matt Craven have nominated the $110,000 PETstock Ballarat Pacing Cup as targets for their stable stars.
Frenning is planning to line up former New Zealander Buster Brady in the group 1 event on Saturday, January 19, while Craven is looking to send around Cant Refuse.
Buster Brady is the Nagambie-based Frenning’s first ventures into training, with the horsewoman having originally moved from Sweden as a monte (saddle) trots rider.
With monte races in Victoria limited, Frenning has developed into one of the state’s most promising young drivers.
Buster Brady is now giving her another opportunity in the harness racing industry and she could not have wished for a better start to her training career.
The six-year-old has burst onto the scene with four wins in six starts, with his victories including the Geelong and Cobram cups.
Frenning is looking to use the Ballarat Pacing Cup as a stepping stone to the $500,000 A.G. Hunter Cup, 2760m, at Melton on Saturday, February 2.
She has expressed excitement at the prospect of guiding Buster Brady in two of the state’s biggest and toughest assignments.
Cant Refuse has not raced since contesting the Inter Dominion Pacing Championship final at Melton on December 15.
However, the series confirmed the six-year-old he is well and truly comfortable at that level.
Craven has indicated Cant Refuse needed a freshen up after four starts in 15 days in the series.
Cant Refuse finished second in an Inter Dominion heat in Ballarat and seventh in the final behind Tiger Tara, which is also set to run at Bray Raceway.
Buster Brady and Cant Refuse are expected to clash with Kiwi raiders Spankem, Thefixer and Cruz Bromac as they pursue a fourth consecutive Ballarat Pacing Cup victory for the stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen.
Burrumbeet trainer Michael Stanley is also set to step up with Rackemup Tigerpie in the cup.
Nominations close on Monday, with the field finalised on Tuesday.
The meeting will also feature heats of the Victoria Derby, and group 2 Cochran Trotters’ Cup, fashions on the field, food trucks, cash cube grab, children’s activities and a visit by Harness Racing Victoria’s equine retraining program HEROS and two of it ambassadors.
A COUPON offering free admission to the Ballarat Pacing Cup meeting will be published in The Courier on Saturday, January 19.