Thursday, August 31, 2017
If race times count for anything – and they usually do – then Sunday’s Destini Fireball Back to Distance Racing final (732 metres) looks likely to develop into a two-dog war between Silverali and McIvor Verna.
Last week’s two heat winners ran 43.99 seconds and 44 seconds respectively, the fastest times run at Tara Raceway over the staying distance since Nellie Noodles ran a record 43.45 seconds in March 2011 when defeating Bowstreet Secret by 17½ lengths in what would be her eleventh and last win.
Peter Byrne, of Southern Cross, has been training Silverali for Noel Mugavin since mid-July after the son of Velocette x Molly Grace found the going pretty tough behind super stayer Burn One Down over 715 metres at Sandown Park.
All the same, he’ll go into Sunday’s final with a fair sort of form line – 12 wins, 13 minor placings and prizemoney of $72,000 from 50 starts – seven of those starts with Byrne for two wins at Mount Gambier and one at Warrnambool.
And while Byrne is quick to concede that Silverali is unlikely to get any better, he is more than happy that the brindle dog has drawn box two in Sunday’s final.
“Look, it’s doubtful that there’s any more improvement in him while McIvor Verna is a terrific young bitch and has it all before her,” he said.
“Silverali will probably need to lead to win and the way the box draw has panned out I think he’s a good chance to find the front, especially with Trademark Jet, a notoriously slow beginner, drawing box one.”
The Peter Franklin trained McIvor Verna – Tara Raceway’s 600 metre record holder in addition to having won at Bendigo and The Meadows – has drawn box four in the final and while likely to be giving Silverali a start is sure to be finishing the race off strongly.
By US sire Bella Infrared out of Blonde Caviar, McIvor Verna is owned by Barry Priest who said this week that her dam, when next on season, would be mated with the high profile sire Barcia Bale.
Sunday’s final also carries to the winner a service to five-time Group 1 winner Destini Fireball (by Where’s Pedro out of US import Greys Destiny) who between 2012 and 2014 raced on 65 occasions for 25 wins, 18 minor placings and more than $640,000 in prizemoney.