Collie trainer Errol Ashcroft said that Euphoric Moment was a strong stayer, and he was confident that the experienced six-year-old would prove to be hard to beat and end a losing sequence of ten when he contests the final event, the 2536m Etch Coatings Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Euphoric Moment, a veteran of 91 starts for 12 wins and 28 placings, has drawn ideally at barrier one and Deni Roberts is expected to attempt to win the start and set the pace.
“We’re a good chance from No. 1,” declared Ashcroft. “I usually leave the tactics up to my driver, but we would hope to lead. When he starts off the front, he has gate speed, and if we pop the plugs, he’ll go.
“I’d say that Deni might pull the plugs at the start. That will be up to her. The horse is going really good, and the 2536m will suit him, regardless of whether he leads or sits. He’s a strong stayer.”
Euphoric Moment’s past two runs have been full of merit. Two starts ago he sustained a spirited three-wide burst from eighth at the bell to take a narrow lead in the final 50m before losing by a neck to the fast-finishing Vespa. Then he raced three back on the pegs in fifth position before fighting on to finish fourth behind Alta Intrigue in a fast-run 2130m event.
Roberts will also drive the Ashcroft-trained Henwood Bay, who is favourably drawn at barrier two in the opening event, the 2130m Catalano Truck And Equipment Pace.
“It’s a pretty tough race, but he’ll be knocking on the door,” said Ashcroft. “I’m happy with the way he is going. I think 2500m in the breeze (when a fading sixth behind Hampton Banner last Friday night) was a bit much for him.”
This week’s event is likely to develop into a battle between speedy pacers Heavens Showgirl and Boom Time.
Heavens Showgirl, a winner at ten of her 29 starts, is in top form for Ravenswood trainer Nathan Turvey, who said: “I think she can win; all she needs is a bit of luck. Her sectionals at her past two runs have been fantastic.”
Heavens Showgirl will start from barrier five with Emily Suvaljko in the sulky. She enjoyed an ideal passage in the one-out, one-back position before finishing strongly to be second to the brilliant Star Of Diamonds in the group 2 WASBA Breeders Stakes last Friday night.
She was most impressive at her previous outing when she was sixth at the bell and seventh at the 550m before she charged to the front 220m from home and won from Blissfullabbey at a 1.55.3 rate over 2130m.
Chris Voak is confident the Ross Olivieri-trained Boom Time will prove very hard to beat, saying: “From barrier six he’ll probably sit and sprint. He can run home in 27sec. flat.
“On ability, he can beat Heavens Showgirl. But the only concern is that he hasn’t been able to race for a month because races keep falling over.”
Boom Time has won at his past two starts, charging home, three wide, from ninth at the 900m to easily beat Vespa and Whoswhointhezoo, and a week later leading from barrier one and scoring by more than two lengths from Mirragon.