MICHAEL Formosa is counting on some respite from opening-round heat winners Hectorjayjay and Bettors Fire when Ultimate Art tries to stay in contention for the $1.1 million Perth Inter Dominion final on Tuesday night.
Ultimate Art and his Ellalong trainer-driver were seventh in their first heat at Gloucester Park on Friday night and need a better result at Bunbury on Tuesday to give themselves a realistic chance of qualifying for the 10-horse decider on December 9. Ultimate Art picked up four points to sit 21st in the 30-horse series after the first of three rounds of heats. The last round is on Friday night at Gloucester Park.
After drawing gate six in the opening heat, Ultimate Art gained seven, the extreme outside of the front line, for Tuesday’s 2100-metre qualifier where Hectorjayjay and Bettors Fire drew two and four respectively.
Ultimate Art was unable to make up significant ground from last after a slow early tempo and wide run on the home turn on Friday night, but Formosa was hopeful of a turnaround.
“He pulled up good and never had a hard run, so he’s going to definitely benefit from that,” Formosa said.
“He’s just going to need that bit of luck to get some points now. Seven, it’s a lot tougher from there and it’s a fairly hard heat with two heat winners in it, drawn two and four. I’m just hoping they are going to want easy runs and that will give me a chance to get into the race.”
The heat is scheduled for 10.15pm (AEDT).
On Friday’s heat, Formosa said he was hoping to finish fifth or better but his plans to sit midfield and finish strongly were thwarted by the relatively slow first half. His aim was drive Ultimate Art more aggressively on Tuesday night.
“Once they sorted their positions out, nothing happened then,” he said.
“Once Lennytheshark went forward I had to go then or not at all, but in saying that, I didn’t think I’d be last. I thought there would be a couple behind me.
“A couple of horses further up the line, they stopped a long way out. The leaders got away, and it made it a lot harder for us. Hindsight’s a great thing, isn’t it? But we’ll try to take the luck out of it next time.
“But he seems to be really full of himself at the moment and is raring to go.”
Heat five of the series is:
1 OUR JERICHO NZ
3 TRICKY STYX NZ
4 BETTORS FIRE NZ
5 ELEGANT CHRISTIAN NZ
6 MAJOR CROCKER
7 ULTIMATE ART
---------- Second Row ----------
8 BEAUDIENE BOAZ NZ
10 PHOENIX WARRIOR NZ