ECKLIN horse trainer Marg Lee says her charge Keayang Cullen must overcome a tough barrier draw to win the prestigious Interdominion.
Keayang Cullen, with Lee’s nephew Glen Craven in the sulky, will start the $750,000 group 1 final from barrier 10 at Menangle on Sunday.
The 15-horse field will battle for the biggest honour in Australian harness racing.
Lee said having a horse in the Interdominion was the highlight of her training career.
Keayang Cullen earned his place in the final with a promising second to Caribbean Blaster in a $50,000 heat at Melton on February 16.
“His run to qualify was super. It is another step up for him,” Lee said.
“It’s the first time he’s raced the calibre of horses in this field.
“It will be a learning curve for him.
“We drew the worst one possible, number 10. It makes it really hard.
“He is an outsider and draw 10 hasn’t helped, but it’s huge to be a part of it.”
Craven, 23, has driven Keayang Cullen in all its starts, including its Terang Pacing Cup win earlier this month.
He has seven years’ driving experience and said the Interdominion would be his biggest challenge yet. Craven said he would need “something special” to win.
“It’s the worst barrier, outside the front row,” Craven said.
“We’ll have to have a fair bit of luck go our way and get into position nice and early.”
Craven said the five-year-old gelding was well prepared for the 3009-metre race.
“So far everything has fallen into place,” he said.
“We’re really happy with the heat run. He missed out by half a head from a win.”
Craven said his nerves were in check ahead of the biggest drive of his career.
“It’s definitely the biggest one I have competed in,” he said.
“(I’m looking forward to) the experience of being able to race against the best on the biggest day of the year.”
Lee and Craven will also team up on Sunday in the $200,000 Chariots of Fire, a race for four-year-olds.
Keayang Steamer has drawn the second barrier in the 1609m group 1 race.
Terang-owned pacer Exciteusinthecity will also compete in the 12-horse Chariots of Fire.
Darren Cole owns Exciteusinthecity, which has been trained at Menangle since August under Darren Hancock.