The numbers don’t tell the whole story for Bernie Hewitt’s leading Star Trek Final (1,730 metres) hope Im With Lexy in the count down to Friday night’s $16,000 feature at Bathurst Paceway.
The basic form guide will tell you Im With Lexy scraped into the final with a fifth but her run in the semi-final was nothing short of special, a performance which gives Hewitt confidence for the upcoming decider.
Im With Lexy had to race three wide for the entire trip when there was no room to head inside.
The Roll With Joe x Lexys Laughing mare did at least have some cover but she was still forced to work four wide before the final turn in the dash for the line.
Now she’s gets what could be considered a sweet reward – a start from the inside gate.
“The draw is always important. She didn’t draw well in the heat and had a lot of bad luck but she still ran well,” Hewitt said.
“Her run in the semi-final was terrific, running three wide the whole trip then having to go four, five wide on the run for home. To do all that and only be beaten four lengths shows that her run was super.”
Friday’s field is packed with talented horses.
Mark Jones’ Whittaker, driven by Ashlee Grives, is searching for a third straight win to start his Australian career.
Inner Light, trained by Brad Hewitt, and Amanda Turnbull’s Eliza Dushku are also in the mix of leading contenders.
“My mare’s got good gate speed so she can lead this but I know Brad and Amanda’s horses have some speed as well,” Hewitt said.
“There’s some strong horses on the front row. Inner Light and Eliza Dushku are very good and Lester’s horse [What A Jolt] is going very well.
“Then on the back row you’ve got Whittaker, who is a gun horse. I think he’s the one to beat.
“Ashlee’s got two wins on the horse and he’s likely to start as favourite.”
Another horse on the second row to watch out for will be Nathan Xuereb’s Redbelly Jack, who finished with a head full of steam to finish fourth in the same heat as Im With Lexy.
Im With Lexy has made a great start to her four-year-old racing career.
The mare has missed a placing just once in her five starts, and added a Group 3 Canola Cup triumph to her name.
Hewitt said it’s going to be a challenging season ahead for his mare but one her believes she’s ready for.
“She’ll mainly target the big money races, which means she has to race up in grade. There won’t be too many easy runs for her this season,” he said.
“When you’ve got races like this series at you’re home track you definitely have to aim for them. We’ve got the Country Cups carnival races kicking off soon and we’ll be looking at a few of those.
“She’s at seven from 27 starts and 11 other times she’s placed so she’s been a great money spinner for the connections.
“I’ve got a strong group of four-year-olds coming through this season so I’m excited to see what they can do.”
Friday night’s meeting starts 6.33pm, with the Star Trek Final taking place at 8.33pm.