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Rating the Aussie raiders heading to Cambridge

TAB Trot contender Just Believe - Photo: Stuart McCormick
TAB Trot contender Just Believe

Photo: Stuart McCormick

Doing your form for Night Of Champions? Adam Hamilton shares his take on the Aussie Raiders below. 

The strongest team of Aussie-trained raiders for almost 13 years crosses the ditch chasing glory on Night of Champions at Cambridge Raceway on Friday April 12.

Four trotters - headed by the globally acclaimed pair Just Believe and Callmethebreeze - make-up the majority of the field in a sensational and inaugural running of the $600,000 TAB Trot.

And multiple Group One-winning pacing pair Better Eclipse and Rock N Roll Doo fly the Aussie flag in the $1mil The Race By Grins.


Target race: TAB Trot

Trainer: Jess Tubbs

Driver: Greg Sugars

Slot holder: Taylor Street Racing Syndicate

Current odds: $2.50

HAMILTON SAYS: Picks himself as Australia's best chance. One of the best trotters in the world and can rightly put himself up with some of Australasia’s greatest trotters with victory in this epic race on top of everything he’s achieved so far. So fantastic in the last two of those three Swedish runs and returned home for a fantastic record of 10 wins (and two seconds) from 12 starts. Turns up anywhere, anytime and delivers. You could argue this is as strong as any race he’s contested – including Sweden – so the barrier draw will be important.


Target race: TAB Trot

Trainer: Anton Golino

Driver: Nathan Jack

Slot holder: Haras des Trotteurs

Current odds: $4.40

HAMILTON SAYS: What a fantastic addition this French-bred, European important has been to Australian trotting ranks. Built a fantastic record in Europe, including multiple Group 1 wins and carried that form to Australia. Monstrous effort to beat Just Believe in the Great Southern Star final. Still a bit of a work in progress, but packs great gate speed and a blistering turn of foot when driven quietly. If he brings his best to the table, he will be a formidable force.


Target race: TAB Trot

Trainer: Brent Lilley

Driver: Chris Alford

Slot holder: TAB (NZ)

Current odds: $17.00

HAMILTON SAYS: Star trotting mare who hasn’t been at her dominant best in recent months. But and this is a huge but, she has to draw the pole in the TAB Trot. Anyone who knows the Cambridge track or watches any racing at the track, will know the monstrous advantage the pole will be. Big chance she will settle behind the leader. If, and that’s the question, she runs to something like her best, she will get every chance. We’ll also get a chance to see where she’s at when she runs at Cambridge on Friday night.


Target race: TAB Trot

Trainer-driver: Chris Svanosio

Slot holder: Aldebaran Park

Current odds: $8.00

HAMILTON SAYS: There’s always been something about this guy and you sensed it chatting with Chris Svanosio along the way. And now he’s arrived. Almost beat Just Believe three starts back and then did exactly that in brilliant fashion at Melton last Saturday night. And ran seriously fast time, too. His 1min53.5sec mile rate was just 0.4sec outside the track record. He’s still on the up, but also hitting a new career peak at the right. Chances look very draw dependent, but he’s good enough.


Target race: The Race by Grins

Trainer: Jess Tubbs

Driver: Greg Sugars

Slot holder: TAB (NZ)

Current odds: $11.00

HAMILTON SAYS: Wonderful top-level performer for a couple of years now. Already a dual Group 1 winner and enjoyed a wonderful Brisbane Inter Dominion series with a couple of heats wins and a terrific second to Leap To Fame in the final. I’d just put a pen through those two recent Menangle runs. Certainly did enough given the times then ran home (53.7/26 flat) behind Catch A Wave last Saturday night. He’s an opportunist at the very top level, but there’s no Leap To Fame, Swayzee or even Catch A Wave to contend with in NZ. Commands respect.


Target race: The Race By Grins

Trainer: Michael Stanley

Driver: Anthony Butt

Slot holder: Barrett Homes

Current odds: $12.00

HAMILTON SAYS: It’s so good to see him with a ticket back to The Race By Grins after he had one last year, but form and niggling issues derailed his campaign. Terrific Len Smith Mile win last September and has shown glimpses of his best form this campaign. He was the first of the Aussies to head to NZ and has had plenty of time to settle in. Everyone (including me) will be watching how he goes at Cambridge on Friday. He’s a prodigious talent when right and could be the surprise packet if he runs well this week and draws an alley (because of his gate speed) in the Grins.


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