After qualifying for his third straight Vicbred Super Series final, Blake Jones is hoping Forever Yin can capitalise on a rare good draw.
Forever Yin has drawn barrier one in the group one final for four-year-old entires and geldings at Melton on Friday.
After coming sixth in the semi-final from barrier two, and sixth in his heat after galloping near the line, Jones believes the barrier draw creates by far his best chance in a final.
"He was due," Jones said.
"I think we've drawn six and five the last two times we went and he hasn't had a lot of luck with draws in the better races so we'll definitely take it this time.
"He's probably not good enough to win but if he runs to his best he's good enough to pick up some prizemoney.
Forever Yin was beaten 16.5 metres by series favourite Honolua Bay in the semi-finals at Melton
"I wasn't too disappointed in him the other night as I used him a little bit early, which is uncustomary for him but I thought we would get across the one and that didn't happen.
"He's pulled up pretty good and we were pretty kind on him between the other two runs when he had to go to Ballarat and back up six days later.
"I think he should be a little bit better for the final.
"He's probably going to be three fence but I'll be pretty happy if that is where we are as I think Ozzie Battler probably crosses us and let's the favourite go.
"If he runs up to his best he can probably get a cheque there."
Jones and partner Ellen Bartley also have Just Ralph in the bronze consolation of the series at Bendigo on Thursday while David Kennedy and Jackson Painting have Blazing Banner in the two-year-old colts and geldings silver final.
THE Johnson family are shooting for a slice of Vicbred Super Series history with Maajida at Melton on Friday night.
The star mare is looking to defy the past to secure a hat-trick of wins in the group one series.
Just as Maajida has, six other mares have won the two and three-year-old finals but none have been able to complete the clean sweep at four.
After winning her semi-final last week Maajida has drawn barrier eight in the $130,000 final.
While she had the tricky inside of the second row alley, Maajida has drawn better than her biggest rival Spellbound, who she is yet to beat in four starts.
Spellbound will start on the outside of the front row.
The Johnsons also have Fiamma in the two-year-old fillies final.
After winning her heat and semi-final, Fiamma has drawn barrier five on Friday.
Both are bred and owned by the Johnsons at The Rock and are trained by Emma Stewart.
ALBURY Harness Racing Club is hoping to attract a crowd of 4000 for its New Year's Eve meeting on Friday night.
The meeting is regarded as the premier New Year's Eve attraction on the Border with some years more than 5000 patrons flocking to the Albury Showground.
Last year's meeting was capped at 3000 under the two square metres rule applying to outdoor events under the current COVID-19 restrictions.
The club was thrown a curveball on the night after the Victorian government tightened restrictions at 5pm on New Year's Eve and announced a hard lockdown of the Border at midnight.
President Paul Brown said the only restrictions on Friday night were that patrons must pre-purchase their tickets and check in using the QR code.
Patrons must also adhere to social distancing rules.
"We got a crowd of 2800 last year and there was a bit of confusion surrounding the closure of the border," Brown said.
"This year patrons must pre-purchase tickets, use the QR code and practice social distancing rules.
"We are hoping to get a crowd of 4000.
"There is more free entertainment and rides for the kids than in previous years.
"We have got catering from the highly popular Lavington Lions Club but also a few other food vans which will give patrons more variety to choose from.
"It is going to be a really family friendly orientated night.
"The fireworks are still going ahead.
"It will be the first fireworks display by Airwize since New Year's Eve last year because of COVID."
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online via the www.humanitix.com website.
The night will culminate with the fireworks display at midnight.
Brown said ticket sales had been encouraging so far.
"We have sold 30 per cent more tickets than at the same time as last year which is a promising sign," he said.
A QUINELLA in the MIA Breeders Plate wasn't the only two-year-old success story for Leeton owner Michael Boots this week.
Sugar Apple and National News finished one-two in Leeton's group three feature, but Boots also tasted success with Sportingjoy at Bathurst on Wednesday.
Trained and driven by Amanda Turnbull, the filly made it two wins from three starts in Australia with another strong display from the front.
BLAKE Micallef capped off his best season yet with success at Dubbo on Boxing Day.
The Young reinsman combined with Wayne Watterson to score with Rockn And Rolln.
It was his 73rd winner for the season to see Micallef finish fourth in the state's concession driver premiership.
Micallef's previous best was 37 wins in last year's extended season.
IT IS a busy weekend of racing to wrap up the festive period.
Albury have their popular New Year's Eve meeting with a eight-race card assembled on Friday.
The first is at 6.49pm.
Leeton then concludes its feature races at its Carnival of Cups meeting on Saturday.
The Leeton Pacers Cup is the main race of the program however only seven horses were nominated.
Nominations for the New Year's Day meeting have been extended until Thursday.
Temora then races on Tuesday.
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