The Great Southern Star is a new race series that was introduced with the abolishment of the Trotting Inter Dominion and was first held in 2013. Based on the time honoured Eliteloppet in Sweden, the format of the race involves the heats and final held on the same race card. In a unique race series, if a horse can win both the heat and final, it can effectively win 2 Group 1 races within 3 hours.
The 2016 edition to be held at Melton will see 2 heats held early on the card (Races 3 & 4) with the final to be held as Race 9. The winner of each heat gain automatic qualification for the final with the remaining 8 positions decided by the fastest individual time recorded in the heats, regardless of finishing position. Once the field is decided for the final, the barrier draw will be a random draw, unlike previous years where the fastest qualifiers were able to choose their barrier for the final.
In 2016 each heat will be worth $50,000 (G1 level) in total stakes and the final will carry stakes of $300,000. The 3 previous winners of the GSS are Vulcan (2013), Keystone Del (2014) and Stent (2015). In a bumper night of trotting action where every race is for the square gaited harness horse, there will be 2 other G1’s as well as the Great Southern Star series.
UBET are offering an All-In market for the final as well as fixed prices on both heats
|Great Southern Star Betting Guide|
|Date:||Saturday 12th March 2016|
|Race Time:||21:00 AEST|
|2016 Great Southern Star Odds|
|8||SPEEDING SPUR||1ST||$5.40 (win)|
|9||GLENFERRIE TYPHOON||2ND||$1.60 (pl)|
|1||QUITE A MOMENT||3RD||$3.90 (pl)|
|10||SUN OF ANARCHY||-||-|
It’s hard to see how they can beat Keystone Del as he is in another zone to the rest of the contenders and he is a red figure favourite in the All-In market. The winner of 35 lifetime starts, he has won his last 3 in succession and has won 9 of his last 10. Coming in to this series with wins at his last 3 starts all at G1 level he smashed the Cranbourne track record last start on a wet track in winning the Knight Pistol. The start prior he took the Dullard Cup by a 30m margin and the run previous he broke the 2240m Melton track record in winning the Trotting Grand Prix. He has competed in the GSS each year since it was inaugurated is an 8 time G1 winner and a past winner of this series.
A classy New Zealand trotter he was a close 2nd to the gun NZ trotter Monbet in the G1 National Trot in Auckland at his 1st run since turning 4. He followed that with a win in the G3 Flying Stakes at Cambridge. Crossing the Tasman to take on the Trotting Grand Prix he was responsible for a big run to finish only a head from Keystone Del. A Victoria Derby and Breeders Crown winner at 3, he draws to meet Keystone Del in the heats and is trained by an astute trainer in John Dickie who has primed his 4YO entire around this series.
Since resuming this preparation, the Andy Gath trained gelding has recorded 3 wins from 5 starts. Opening his campaign in the G3 The George Gath he led all the way and landed a new track record in the process. He followed that with a decisive win in the G3 Melton Trotters Cup and then in the G1 Grand Prix he made an error mid-race that put pay to his chances. He atoned with another track record at his next start in winning the G1 Maori Mile at Bendigo and then last week in the G1 Knight Pistol he again made an error. An 18 time winner he looks to have drawn the easier heat which may work in his favour.
Drawn directly behind Keystone Del in what looks the stronger of the 2 heats, he can follow a genuine tempo and find his way into the final. From there he will be relying on the barrier gods to smile upon him. Although he has yet to win a race this season he has been placed in some of the top races and been in the money at 10 of his 12 starts for the term. Those 10 placings have all been in Group company including last start in the G1 Knight Pistol and in the G1 Bill Collins Sprint.