If you weren’t a hardcore harness fan and inspected the form for Friday night’s $100,000 Group 1 Vicbred Super Series 4YO Entires & Geldings Final you’d be excused for thinking Living On Fire would go around odds-on.
The Bill Galea-trained gelding kept an unbeaten season in tact when he sat outside nominal series favourite Bonavista Bay in last week’s semi but still proved too strong.
After starting from the second line last week, he’s drawn barrier five for the 2240-metre final at Melton’s Tabcorp Park.
Bonavista Bay has again drawn well in three, but the quinella from last week’s other qualifier, Villagem and Village Of Dreams, have drawn out the back in barriers nine and 10 respectively.
The likelihood, however, is that Living On Fire won’t even start favourite in the final. Harness Racing Victoria price assessor Bill Hutchison marked him $3.20 behind Bonavista Bay ($3) and just in advance of Villagem ($3.50).
Galea isn’t offended that Living On Fire doesn’t head the market, but he was thrilled with his horse last week and said he had even more in his favour this weekend.
“We drew behind Bonavista Bay last week, we had (barrier) nine, but this week we’ve got barrier five and I think we can beat Bonavista Bay out (at the start),” the Rockbank trainer said.
“Last week they went 1:57 (mile rate), ran a 55-second last half (800m) and came home in 27.5 (seconds), so I don’t think he can find an improvement on that.
“He’s pretty fit and all I need to do is keep him there. All I’ve been doing is walking him and swimming him and he’s freshened right up.”
Living On Fire, a winner of 20 of his 31 starts and $290,000 in stakes, will be out to make it seven wins from as many starts this season in the final, which is race seven on the card at 9.42pm.
The son of Live Or Die is striving to become just the fourth winner of his two and four-year-old Vicbred finals. Colbruce swept his Vicbred series with Gold Share and Blatant Lie the only other two-year-old winners to come back and win at four.
Living On Fire isn’t the only horse chasing multiple Vicbred titles with last year’s winner Villagem out to join Ima Orphan, Rufus Young Blood, Double Wipe, Plettonic, Surfing Safari, Colbruce and Shakamaker as horses to have won three and four-year-old titles.