• Josh Jenkins

VicBred Finals - NYE




In the Harness world, New Year's Eve is as big as things get.


A dozen races, a dozen Group 1's.

Not many race cards can boast that kind of Group 1 action. But, for one night only, as we cheerio another year from hell thanks to this dreaded and persistent virus, we look forward to 2022 and beyond as the most talented juveniles in Victoria go hoof-to-hoof in search of Vicbred riches and prestige.


With 12 races set down for action, the form was tantalising but arduous.

On the final instalment of HARNESSED for 2021, I chatted with two of the game's best drivers and two with mouthwatering books of drives on NYE - David Moran and Greg Sugars.


Here's hoping we find a few winners to bring in 2022 with a few extra bucks in the pocket...





VICBRED SUPER SERIES FINAL (4YO MARES, GROUP 1, 2240M, $130,000)

I'm not sure there's any doubt former Kiwi mare SPELLBOUND is racing a shade beneath her absolute Group 1-winning best but she gets every opportunity to claim another Group 1 in the four-year-old mares division.


Gate 7 is rarely ideal but it is when there are only two major winning hopes and your rival is likely going to face traffic issues from gate 8. MAAJIDA will need some sugary steering from Greg Sugars to quickly get off the fence and into the race.


Should Spellbound be planted wide and Maajida buried on the pegs, SEW WHAT or IT'S EBONYNIVORY could spring the most unlikely surprise.


I'd expect Spellbound to roll to the top and prove very hard to run down unless Maajida gets favours early. Neither are long enough to punt so I'll be with the in-form mare at an each way price with the handy gate.


TIP - SEW WHAT each way $11


VICBRED SUPER SERIES FINAL (4YO TROTTING ENTIRES & GELDINGS, GROUP 1, 2240M, $100,000)


TIP - POWDERKEG win $2.80


VICBRED SUPER SERIES FINAL (4YO TROTTING MARES, GROUP 1, 2240M, $100,000)

TIP - No bet.


VICBRED SUPER SERIES FINAL (3YO TROTTING COLTS & GELDINGS, GROUP 1, 2240M, $100,000)

TIP - ALDEBAREN ZEUS win $1.80


VICBRED SUPER SERIES FINAL (2YO FILLIES, GROUP 1, 2240M, $130,000)

Nathan Purdon-trained filly, AMORE VITA, gets the plum ace alley but what to do with the handy gate is the predicament. She's proven more adept - by a considerable margin - at chasing speed instead of setting the tempo but there does not seem an appropriate rival to hand over to.


Handing to an Emma Stewart brings about some risk of that filly handing to another Stewart-trained horse, so I'm not sure that's an option. Relentless Me proved she was not up to leading a race of this nature and nothing else in the race is worthy of handing to. They'll all be 20/1 and beyond.


So, Chris Alford - and Purdon during the week - will need to guide this filly to Group 1 glory from the lead.


Should she fail in front, either of FIAMMA or ENCIPHER will be winning, whilst OUR LITTLE JET is a knockout hope off a hot tempo.


TIP - AMORE VITA win (no confidence) $2.20 or small each way OUR LITTLE JET $41





VICBRED SUPER SERIES FINAL (3YO FILLIES, GROUP 1, 2240M, $130,000)

The headline event thanks to the headline horse - Ladies In Red.


She sat outside star stablemate JOANNA last week and was too brilliant. Too classy is this daughter of Mach Three, she's won 16/19 and looks like adding another Group 1 to the CV despite Joanna again drawing to lead.


Team Stewart/Tonkin have 7 runners in this event and staggeringly just two (Joanna and Dangerous Hand) have drawn off the front. Joanna is almost certain to run second whilst TREACHERY and ROGUE WAVE are the expected third-place contenders.


TIP - LADIES IN RED win $1.35 and ROGUE WAVE place $2.70

VICBRED SUPER SERIES FINAL (3YO COLTS & GELDINGS, GROUP 1, 2240M, $130,000)

With Act Now off the scene, many expected BEYOND DELIGHT to take the belt but he was dismantled in the semi by BONDI LOCKDOWN - who was mammoth in winning his semi.


The Aaron Dunn-trained colt should get to the top and prove incredibly hard to topple. KIMBLE will be aiming to ping the gate and hand to Bondi Lockdown. Kimble's speed off the arm is rare.


LONGFELLOW and ROCK N ROLL DOO are drawn awfully but can both feature should the tempo be hot.


It's hard to see this not being Bondi Lockdown's opportunity at further Group 1 glory. BETTER ECLIPSE is a talent for Team Tubbs/Sugars but I'm concerned he will get buried on the pegs and not see daylight until she's all over.


TIP - BONDI LOCKDOWN win $2.10


VICBRED SUPER SERIES FINAL (2YO COLTS & GELDINGS, GROUP 1, 2240M, $130,000)

One of the more even races of the night sees SOLESSEO MATUCA line up as favourite alongside HEZA SON OF A GUN. Both were ultra-impressive in their semis but for different reasons.


CAPTAIN RIVAL was an eye-catching run last week and could bob up again here. KHAFAJI is very good but will need to be from gate 12 whilst LIGHTNING DAN, HE'S CHARLIE'S ANGEL and the Dunn pair of FLASH JIMMY and HOT DEAL could bob up.


TIP - SOLESSEO MATUCA win $4





VICBRED SUPER SERIES FINAL (4YO ENTIRES & GELDINGS, GROUP 1, 2240M, $130,000) He was not as breathtaking as we've previously seen and a contender rose up from New South Wales but after the barriers, it's almost impossible seeing anything other than a HONOLUA BAY victory playing out in the four-year-old boys race.


His sheer speed is frightening and in this one, he should jog to the top, get a comfortable split then rip off a devastating last 1000m.


JAY OK proved he's a serious horse, a 'proper horse' in the words of Greg Sugars but he will need a miracle to be overcoming barrier 12 whilst his main rival is likely jogging along in front.


PACIFICO DREAM always deserves respect but gate 13 cruel him and, to be frank, almost anything could pinch third place such is the tail in this race after the top two.


TIP - HONOLUA BAY win $1.18 (add to your all-ups)

VICBRED SUPER SERIES FINAL (3YO TROTTING FILLIES, GROUP 1, 2240M, $100,000)


TIP - KEAYANG XENA win $3

VICBRED SUPER SERIES FINAL (2YO TROTTING COLTS & GELDINGS, GROUP 1, 2240M, $100,000)


TIP - PLYMOUTH CHUBB win $1.18 (add to your all-ups)


VICBRED SUPER SERIES FINAL (2YO TROTTING FILLIES, GROUP 1, 2240M, $100,000)


TIP - JUST A BIT TOUCHY win $1.70


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BEST BET - Race 7, No. 5: BONDI LOCKDOWN $2.10

BEST VALUE - Race 1, No. 2 SEW WHAT $11

BEST BLOWOUT - Race 5, No. 9 OUR LITTLE JET $41

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Enjoy your VICBRED Super Series Final night on NYE!


Gamble Responsibly.


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(Thanks to Robert Watson and SohoTribeca.com.au, Andrew English and the team from TheTrots.com.au as well as Brett Coffey and the crew from Alabar.com.au for their support of HARNESSED. Here's hoping for more Harnessed content into 2022 and beyond.)

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