Maori’s historic bid hampered by draw

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    MAORI TIME - Photo HRV

    TOP mare Maori Time’s bid for a slice of history has been dealt a cruel blow.

    Chasing a third consecutive win the Bill Collins Mile at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night, the Brent Lilley-trained trotter has drawn the inside of the second row.

    As it stands, former champion Sundons Gift is the only squaregaiter to register three wins in an Australian Group One.

    In fact, the millionaire went one better by capturing the Grand Prix four times between 2007 and 2010.

    Sundons Gift is one of seven stars which have four victories in the same top shelf event.

    The Magnificent Seven includes Blacks A Fake, Gammalite, Pure Steel, Smoken Up, Village Kid and Washakie.

    Pure Steel was the first to achieve the feat, annexing the Western Australia Cup in 1977, ’78, ’79 and ’80.

    Washakie is in a league of his own, having secured the M H Treuer Memorial five times between 2009 and 2013.

    As for Maori Time’s hat-trick attempt, the daughter of Pegasus Spur will need luck to go her way according to Lilley.

    Maori Time heads into the 1720-metre encounter with three wins and a second from her last four starts.

    “Her biggest asset is her gate speed, but the draw takes that out of the equation,” Lilley said. “She will need a bit of luck from the draw, but that will be up to Gavin (Lang, driver) to work out once the race starts.

    “If she can get off the pegs and get the right run at them, she can certainly win again.”

    • PAUL COURTS

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