Ruggari wary in Trot Derby Heat

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My High Expectations comes up against Kiwi raider Kahdon in a heat of the Victoria Trotters Derby at Bendigo this Saturday night, with trainer-driver Adam Ruggari expecting the run to provide a significant insight into whether he is a contender for the final.

Joining the New South Wales youngster in the first of three Derby qualifiers are arguably the series’ top two seeds – boom Kiwi filly Kahdon and established local star Rostevarren.

“They’re probably the two best in it, so we’ll find out how good our guy is,” said Ruggari, who hails from Swayers Gully, west of Maitland.

“He’s beaten the ones at home pretty easily, but this is definitely the hardest level of opposition he’s met. It’ll be a good test for him, to see where he’s at against the good trotters down there.”

 My High Expectations comes to Victoria a winner of four of his six starts, having occupied minor placings at the other two.

The son of Ken Warkentin started an odds-on favourite in the New South Wales Trotters Derby, but while he had to settle for third placing behind Backas Cobber, he galloped away and did well to get within 27 metres.

He bounced back with an effortless 13m win at Menangle in the HRNSW Trotters Foundation Final on June 1.

“In the Derby up here he gave them about 100 (metres) and got beaten just over 20, so he went well that night, but he can’t afford to be making mistakes,” Ruggari said.

 “After that we aimed him at the Foundation at the Menangle and he won that, so he’s back on track and this is just the next step now.”

 My High Expectations has at least drawn to challenge the big pair from gate four. That’s not quite as good as last-start Victoria Trotters Oaks winner Kahdon, who drew one, but a more favourable gate than Rostevarren (nine).

 A top four finish will earn My High Expectations a spot in the $75,000 Group 1 final, to be run on the big Redwood Classic Day at Maryborough on Sunday, July 18.

 “He’s raced back in the field, been in front and sat parked a couple of times, so he’s pretty versatile,” Ruggari said. “He can come out (of the gate) pretty good, so we’ll be aiming to do that end up somewhere close to them.”

After Saturday night the Derby qualifiers continue at Geelong next Wednesday before the final heat at Cranbourne on Saturday, July 10.

Courtesy of Brad Bishop, HRV Media Manager