Draws aid Boyd's prospects

Canterbury trainer Stephen Boyd has had good luck with the draws. Now his horses just need luck on the track at Winton tomorrow

Boyd lines up Dixie Star from barrier 4 in race 1 and Dametoro from the ace draw in race 3.

Boyd is enjoying a breakout season. Nine of the Aylesbury trainer's 20 career wins have come this season.

That form has come about since Boyd and wife, Angela, increased the focus of their business on racing.

''I never used to concentrate on the racing side at all, but then we had a couple of our own,'' Boyd said.

''Then we started training for Philippa Hanley and she is our main owner, basically. We started racing a few for her and it progressed from there, really.''

Hanley scored wins with Back In Black and Virginia Cool from the Boyd stable this season.

Much of Boyd's earlier focus was on breaking in and pre-training horses. He lists Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen's stable among his clients.

Boyd played a key part in sorting out Thefixer's hoof problems before the New Zealand Cup.

Boyd said Dametoro was the most forward of the two fillies he will debut at Winton.

He expects the 3yr-old to have no problems in holding the lead from barrier 1.

''She is probably our best chance; she should lead from [barrier] 1. She should be able to hold up - she led at the workouts last Saturday and went pretty well.

Dametoro scored a 2½-length win at the Motukaraka workouts last weekend.

''I don't mind her all. She is a pretty nice maiden.

''She is going to be better again in six months when she fills out. She is a light-framed horse.''

Dametoro clashes with former high-priced yearling Arden Roanoke. The $155,000 purchase will start from barrier 2 on the second row for trainer Cran Dalgety and driver Blair Orange.

Arden Roanoke won at last week's Rangiora workouts

and in a prior hitout, ran second to Valiant Charger

who looks a strong winning chance in race 5 for Orange and trainer Tom Bagrie.

Boyd expects Dixie Star to run nicely.

''This race could have come up a week early for her, but by the same token, she is still going to go a very good race, I would say.''

A rival Canterbury filly drawn in barrier 1 looks the toughest for Dixie Star to beat.

The Regan Todd-trained Amethyst showed enough gate speed to lead at the Rangiora trials last month.

The 3yr-old battled into third in the heat behind Garta who won at Rangiora earlier this month.

The runner-up, Rocknroll Rod, has gone two sound races at Addington and Rangiora since the Rangiora trial.

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