Ideal draws for Ballymore pair

Matamata trainer Pam Gerard had been hoping for a turn of luck with barrier draws ahead of Trentham’s feature meeting on Saturday, and her prayers were answered.

Gerard, who trains in partnership with Michael Moroney, will have two strong chances in Group races on Saturday and she said she was over the moon with their draws.

Exciting three-year-old Harlech  will jump from the ace barrier in the Gr.1 Woodridge Homes Levin Classic (1600m), while promising stayer Masetto has drawn gate two in the Gr.3 Barneswood Farm Trentham Stakes (2100m).

"I am due some good barrier draws, I have had nothing but outside barrier draws for the last month. I must be doing something right," Gerard said.

Harlech will be tested at a mile for the second time this weekend after finishing runner-up to Catalyst in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November.

Harlech subsequently went on to record the same placing behind Travelling Light in the Listed Uncle Remus Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day and Gerard said the son of Darci Brahma was beaten by a bad barrier draw.

"He was just dictated to by the wide barrier draw He had no option but to go back, but he ran home super. Mick Dee (jockey) said he should have won for sure had the barrier draws been different.

"It will be interesting on Saturday because he has never had a good barrier draw, so we have gone from one extreme to the other.

"You would think barrier one would be a huge asset to him, but in saying that he knows no different but to be back and wide, so it will be a little bit new."

Gerard is hoping Harlech can breakthrough for his maiden Group One win in New Zealand before his likely move across the Tasman to join Moroney's Melbourne barn.

"It's just race-by-race with him at the moment," she said. "He is heading to Australia, but what time he goes will be determined by what happens on Saturday."

Gerard is also looking forward to watching Masetto line-up in the Trentham Stakes.

The four-year-old son of Cape Blanco takes a strong formline into Saturday, including a last start runner-up effort in the Gr.3 Waikato Cup (2400m) at Te Rapa last month.

"He is absolutely working out of his skin," Gerard said. "He is a really nice up-and-coming stayer, I have got a lot of time for him.

"It was a huge run at Waikato and he will get a nice, soft trip from barrier two on Saturday."

Meanwhile, Gerard has yet to decide whether she will take a third runner south to Trentham on Saturday, with two-year-old filly Leeside also accepted at Ellerslie's Sunday meeting.

"I am just going to see how she comes through her work from this (Wednesday) morning," Gerard said.

"She went to Wellington last time and was a little bit disappointing. But she drew the outside and I thought she was right in she just got a little bit lost and got swamped by a few of the bigger, stronger colts.

"She is a filly with a huge amount of ability, but we will just pick the right place for her."

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