Matamata trainer Pam Gerard had been hoping for a turn of luck with barrier draws ahead of Trentham’s feature meeting on Saturday, and her prayers were answered.
Gerard, who trains in partnership with Michael Moroney, will have two strong chances in Group races on Saturday and she said she was over the moon with their draws.
Exciting three-year-old Harlech (Darci Brahma) will jump from the ace barrier in the Gr.1 Woodridge Homes Levin Classic (1600m), while promising stayer Masetto has drawn gate two in the Gr.3 Barneswood Farm Trentham Stakes (2100m).
“I am due some good barrier draws, I have had nothing but outside barrier draws for the last month. I must be doing something right,” Gerard said.
Harlech will be tested at a mile for the second time this weekend after finishing runner-up to Catalyst in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November.
Harlech subsequently went on to record the same placing behind Travelling Light in the Listed Uncle Remus Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day and Gerard said the son of Darci Brahma was beaten by a bad barrier draw.
“He was just dictated to by the wide barrier draw (9). He had no option but to go back, but he ran home super. Mick Dee (jockey) said he should have won for sure had the barrier draws been different.
“It will be interesting on Saturday because he has never had a good barrier draw, so we have gone from one extreme to the other.
“You would think barrier one would be a huge asset to him, but in saying that he knows no different but to be back and wide, so it will be a little bit new.”
Gerard is hoping Harlech can breakthrough for his maiden Group One win in New Zealand before his likely move across the Tasman to join Moroney’s Melbourne barn.
“It’s just race-by-race with him at the moment,” she said. “He is heading to Australia, but what time he goes will be determined by what happens on Saturday.”
Harlech was bred and sold by The Oaks Stud through their 2018 Book 1 Draft at Karaka to Paul Moroney Bloodstock for $100,000. The Cambridge based farm will offer a full sister to Harlech at Karaka later this month (Lot 139).