(Group One) Blacks A Fake – how they rate

There may not be a Kiwi-trained runner in Group 1’s $355,000 Blacks A Fake, but the New Zealand connection to harness racing runs deep.

Spirit of St Louis

A staggering eight of the 13 acceptors are either bred in New Zealand or started their careers beyond the ditch.

And they’re the big guns – seven of the top eight to wager, including $2.90 favorite Spirit Of St. Louis (Sweet Lou). The race starts at 10:45 p.m.

Let’s take a look at everyone’s odds in race book order:

(1) TRIPLE EIGHT (American ideal) (Odds: $6)

Trainer: Jess Tubbs

Driver: Adam Sanderson

Hamilton says: The well-travelled former high-class Kiwi needed a good draw at this level and got one on pole. Yes, he ran in the Sunshine Sprint last week but was only beaten by 9.6m and struck the clock very late. He needs luck but is good enough when things go his way.

(2) ALTA ORLANDO (courage under fire) (Odds: $19)

Trainer: Belinda McCarthy

Driver: Ricky Thurlow

Hamilton says: The old wonder isn’t quite what he was but he gets the tie to potentially lead early and take the lane straight at speed. Not sure if he can win but needs to be included in trifectas.

(3) SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS (Sweet Lou) ($2.90)

Trainer: Belinda McCarthy

Driver: Jack Callaghan

Hamilton says: He’s the one to beat. This is his chance to win by two seconds at Grand Circuit level after four attempts so far. No luck last week, great draw and my top pick.

(5) MACH DA VINCI (Art major) ($71, emergency)

Coach: Shane Graham

Driver: TBC

Hamilton says: It helps to show clues to his best form and front row, but the pitch is looking its best.

(6) TURN IT TO (courage under fire) ($17)

Coach Driver: Shane Graham

Hamilton says: The one-time megastar Kiwi, who’s been riding the best he’s ever had since moving to Queensland. Fast gate speed, but questionable at a strong 2680m, especially if he has to use fuel early. location preferred.

(7) LIKE WILD FIRE (Big Jim) ($4.20)

Trainer: Emma Stewart

Driver: Mark Pitt

Hamilton says: What a revelation. A stunning win for all three starts this campaign. By far his biggest test and far drawn, but he’s running so well he’s sure to be right in the mix.

(10) ZEUSS BROMAC (luck of the weather) ($23)

Trainer: Paul Fitzpatrick

Driver: Gavin Fitzpatrick

Hamilton says: Ultra consistent and classy NSW raider. Two good Menangle wins and far from embarrassed from far behind and wide in a leader dominated Sunshine Sprint last week. Respect.

(11) MACHSHARD (make three) ($51)

Trainer: Belinda McCarthy

Driver: Luke McCarthy

Hamilton says: Class opportunist at this level. Did enough of a good trail last week without shining. Tricky draw in a hot race. location preferred.


I’m going with SPIRIT OF ST LOUIS to punch himself out of the gun draw. LIKE A WILDFIRE has some serious X-Factor, BETTER ECLIPSE is a star on the road to success but needs luck from the back row. Messenger winner MAJESTIC CRUISER will be enjoying the 2680m and is running better than his form suggests.


Spirit Of St.Louis to WIN and in every respect something MAJESTIC CRUISER.

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By Adam Hamilton for Harness Racing New Zealand

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