LONG Forest trainer Andy Gath says he is feeling no pressure, despite oddsmakers installing his star trotter Tornado Valley as a dominant favourite for Saturday night’s Group 1 Maori Mile at Lord’s Raceway.
The 2018 Inter Dominion champion has enjoyed an amazing run of success, winning 19 of his past 21 starts, including seven-on-end.
Following a short freshen-up, Gath said the seven-year-old was in good order and ready for a crack at another Group 1.
“Obviously an Inter Dominion campaign is pretty tough, having four runs in a fortnight, but he’s come through it well and he’s ready to go again,” he said.
“The horse has a really good constitution, he can handle whatever you throw at him – he’s pretty much came through t (the Inter Dominion) unscathed.
“He had a bit of a freshen up, but he was back into some pretty solid work last week.
“With any good horse who keeps winning there’s a little bit of pressure, but every race he is in is a big race, so the competition is always strong.
“We always respect our opposition; there are some pretty good horses in there who have won some big races as well, we never just turn up and think we will win.”
A formidable field of challengers includes Cardigan trainer Anton Golino’s rising star Dance Craze, who will start from gate five, directly inside Tornado Valley, and Inter Dominion finalists Save Our Pennys and Kyvalley Blur.
Dance Craze, a five-year-old mare, has quickly established an enviable record of her own with 14 wins from 22 starts, and is a contender to be respected, according to Gath.
“She didn’t compete in the Inter Dominion, but she is a quality horse,” he said.
“Her mother La Coocaracha is the best horse I’ve ever trained and I have the greatest respect for her.
“Save Our Penny’s and Kyvalley Blue are top talent horses, so they are always dangerous.”
Gath is chasing his second Maori Mile win following Glenferrie Typhoon’s victory in 2016.
The Majestic Son gelding set a new Lord’s Raceway mile-rate-record in winning the Group 1 feature, a mark that was bettered in last year’s race by the John Meade-trained and Chris Svanosio-driven Sparking Success.
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