District trainers are chasing rich spoils in a smorgasbord of feature racing across two states tonight.
The mighty Lennytheshark makes his return to racing for Avenel’s Team Aiken in the $50000 Bulli Cup at Menangle, while younger stablemate Higherthananeagle contests the $322000 final of the Australian Pacing Gold series for two-year-old colts and geldings at the same meeting.
Both pacers, owned by Shepparton businessman Kevin Riseley will be driven by leading Victorian reinsman Chris Alford.
The Shark has not raced since winning the Kilmore Cup on March 18, but has been in Sydney for some time and has trialled well in preparation for the assignment.
He has drawn barrier five in a 14-horse field with one of his main rivals Tiger Tara drawn in barrier four and another Lord Zip Zan coming from gate 13 — three off the second row.
Higherthananeagle, who ran second to the Mark Purdon-trained-and-driven Sacario in his semi-final at Menangle on Saturday night in 1.54.3 mile rate time, has not been favoured in the barrier draw, coming up with barrier eight.
Fellow Victorian Lumineer, who won his semi-final in a blistering 1.52.5 mile rate time, has drawn barrier six and looks the testing material along with Sacario who is also going to need luck from his barrier nine draw.
Aiken also has rising star Rockstar Angel contesting the Silver Challice at Melton tomorrow night and Cold Major the $20000 Captain Sandy feature.
The Amanda Turnbull-Nathan Jack team has Eye See Diamonds in the Silver Challice and also War Dan Bad Girl in a $30000 semi-final of the Australian Pacing Gold series for two-year-old fillies.
Daniel Jack is also represented in the first semi of the Pacing Gold series with Our Chateau Lafite.
Flying Shepparton mare Sky Petite is the one to beat in tomorrow night’s $25000 Shepparton Trotters Cup.
The tiny Dean Pattison-trained mare is coming off a second placing behind Red Hot Tooth in the Australian Trotters Championship on April 7 at her previous start and looks a top chance from the 10m handicap across the testing 2690m trip.
But it will be a good race with classy performers in Illawong Helios and locals Shared Interest, Barefoot Sally, Maoriesfavouritesun, Vics Cheval and backmarker Claudys Princess contesting the $25000 event.
The two other features tomorrow night are the $12000 Abrahams Classic for two-year-old trotters and the $13000 Shepparton Oaks Trial for three-year-old fillies, which have many budding stars contesting.