Herald Sun - - SPORT -

APACHE Flame is drawn to fig­ure promi­nently in tonight’s Grade 5 Fi­nal (525m) at The Mead­ows af­ter draw­ing box two.

With four wins and six sec­onds from his past 10 starts, GRV form ex­pert The Watch­dog has Apache Flame a $3.60 sec­ond favourite and top se­lec­tion.

“Be­ing drawn near the rail brings him right into this race,” trainer Robert Craw­ford said.

“There is a lot of pace around him with the grey­hounds in box one (Mid­night Hero) and box three (Fed­eral Lilly).

“I’m ex­pect­ing one of those two to lead and I’m hop­ing Apache Flame can get off to a good start and be sit­ting just off the pace in the early stages and prove too strong.”

Apache Flame came from well back to win his heat in a time of 30.29sec, four lengths slower than the fastest win­ner, Ge­orge’s Fever.

But the black sprinter showed he was ca­pa­ble of run­ning bril­liant times with a vic­tory at Sandown Park two starts ago in 29.38, which in­cluded a light­ning first sec­tion of 5.02.

While Craw­ford was con­fi­dent of an­other com­pet­i­tive show­ing, he said tonight’s field was ex­tremely even.

“There are a num­ber of chances, al­though Mid­night Hero is prob­a­bly the one to beat,” he said.

“Dyna Dean (box seven) isn’t ideally drawn but he could eas­ily win as he is a Group 1 win­ner and the best in the race.

The fi­nal is Race 6 at 8.58pm.

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