Good fun: Trainer Shane Tritton with InterDominion hopeful Mach Beauty. Photo: Phil HearneNewcastle’s Shane Tritton has emerged in the past year as a Grand Circuit trainer but having Mach Beauty in Sunday’s InterDominion grand final is still exciting and fun.
Tritton was the first man up to pick his barrier at Monday’s draw and was relieved to see gate six on the bottom of his trophy.
“[Driver] Lauren [Panella] said to me as I was going up that she wanted five or six,” Tritton said. “He is a front-running horse and we are very happy to have a leading draw and we are going to use it.”
Panella has become a fixture in group 1 racing in the past year since linking with the Tritton stable and become the leading driver at Menangle.
It has been horses such as Mach Beauty and Suave Stuey Lombo, which had a failed crack at the New Zealand Cup, that have lifted the stable from the leading Newcastle outfit to player on the big stage.
“The good part of it is that everyone that surrounds me is on the same journey,” Tritton said.
“A lot of my owners haven’t had good horses before, and Lauren hasn’t driven in these big races before, so we all experiencing for the first time. It’s good because everyone’s excited and enjoying it. It is fun to be a part of the InterDominion and the draw.”
Mach Beauty earned his place in the grand final when he caused a shock in the second of the Sydney heat of the InterDominion, coming from behind For A Reason to beat him at Menangle on February 15.
The five-year-old has been known as a flying machine over a mile but Tritton is convinced that the 3009 metres on Sunday is not beyond him.
“I think he is probably the biggest stayer in the race,” Tritton said. “The way he races, he’s always doing work and holding on.
“He proved that last week when he came from behind to win on the wet track in the worst part of the track to win.”
The plan for Mach Beauty ($31) from gate six is simple, cross to the pegs and lead, but with Im Victorious, Livingontheinterest and Keayang Cullen on his inside it will not be easy. However, Panella says she has never had to be full bore on Mach Beauty from the gates.
“He has always led without being asked to really go as hard as he can and Lauren says there is more there,” Tritton said.
“She let him come out last week and he hummed off the [mobile] arm. In these big races you have to make sure of it, so she is going to have him opening up on Sunday. We will see if anything can go with us.”
The draw didn’t change the favourite for the $750,000 trans-Tasman feature as Miracle Mile winner Beautide has maintained favouritism despite drawing the second line. His trainer-driver James Rattray was delighted to get barrier 12 after he came out in the middle of the draw when most of the inside gates had gone. Beautide will follow the back of noted fast beginner West Australian Livingontheinterest.
“When I went up there it was probably the best gate that was left,” Rattray said. “There appears to be a lot of pace on the front row, so I should be able to follow through and get a good spot.”
The big winner after the draw was Perth heat winner Im Victorious, which came up with gate one and firmed $6.50 to $4.60.
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