Breaking clear to secure without doubt his biggest career victory to date in the Listed All Victorian Sprint Final (1200m) at Flemington last time out, co-trainer Leon Macdonald is confident Nearest To Pin is again capable of scoring a huge upset in this weekend’s featured Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m).
Expected to finish off the pace of resounding pre-post favourite Vain Queen in the All Victorian Sprint, Nearest To Pin settled in prime position over the back straight and rounding the bend; timing his sprint perfectly to finish a half-length in the clear.
Currently sharing the third line of betting for success in the Bletchingly Stakes, Macdonald told Racing Victoria he could not be more pleased with the building form and class of the Golden Lake gelding, and sees no reason why he cannot overcome outright favourite Lord Of The Sky.
“We’re well aware Lord of the Sky is in the race, and he looks hard to beat, but Vain Queen was in the same boat a fortnight ago, wasn’t she?” Macdonald said.
“I’ve always been of the opinion, right throughout, that you can’t dodge one horse.
“He’s done well. He’s one of those horses, he’s an old horse – well, he’s not that old, but he’s been around a while – and he adapts to life as a racehorse very well.
“He hasn’t done very much (since), but he’ll go back again on Thursday night.
“It’s pretty obvious, except maybe for the favourite, that the best sprinters are not around this time of the year, they’re still a month away, so if we can get away with one or two of these races it’s pretty handy.”
Contesting an impressive total of eight race victories and as many minor places from 23 competitive starts so far, Nearest To Pin displayed a keen turn of foot to finish third in the Listed Matrice Stakes (1200m) first-up on March 10th, continuing to build in form and class on his way to second in the Sportingbet Best Tote Plus Handicap (1200m) and first in the All Victorian Sprint most recently.
Allocated the ideal barrier 2, Nearest To Pin has been confirmed to be partnered by regular jockey Nicholas Hall in the 2014 Bletchingly Stakes and is currently available at generous odds of $8.50 for success or $2 to run a place with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.
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