Tonight’s 2019 Cairns Invitational looks a super tough event to try and identify a winner. Many of the top cowboys are in outstanding form but the draw does look quite tricky with dangerous matchups right down the list.
I think we could see Brady Fielder (Clermont, QLD) break through for his first PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour win. Fielder does have two event wins at the Touring Pro Division level under his belt already this year.
Fielder leads the Rookie of the Year race and is also in the hunt for the gold buckle. He has covered eight of his last eleven bulls at PBR Australia events and has put up back-to-back top-5 finishes.
As I mentioned in this week’s edition of The Morning Line, the Clermont talent will face Wallace Bucking Bulls’ Cowboy Cash. This bull is yet to record a victory in PBR Australia competition with two riders making the whistle and receiving a score.
Left-handed riders Justin Paton and Aaron Kleier put up 84 and 81.5 points respectively and Fielder will be the first right-handed rider to attempt him. I don’t think he will have too many issues here despite Cowboy Cash turning back to the left. He looks to have good rhythm and doesn’t appear to have any tricks in his action.
In Round 2, Fielder will go up against Mighty Whitey from Wallace Bucking Bulls. These two matched up last month at the Touring Pro event in Rockhampton with the 19-year-old coming out on top with 83.5 points at the bell.
We should see a similar result here, and on a night where the majority of the field will struggle to get two rides on the board, I think Fielder’s luck of the draw and talent should hold him in good stead here in Cairns.
Kurt Shephard (Atherton, QLD) has been on fire since returning to competition from a knee injury at PBR Origin. A week ago he took home his second PBA Australia Last Cowboy Standing title with a 3-for-3 performance.
The 24-year-old has won this event before and while I don’t know too much about his Round 1 draw, 25 to Life from Dunne Bulls, he seems as though he could ride just about anything at the moment.
In Round 2 he goes up against a veteran bull from Dittmann Bucking Bulls named Silent Rage. The bull produces a consistent action and will enter a left-handed spin which should see Shephard gain the upper hand.
Many cowboys have the ability to finish the long rounds 2-for-2, but most riders will need some luck to fill the top-5 on the 2019 Cairns Invitational Leaderboard. I think Rubens Barbosa, Lane Mellers, Lachlan Slade and Cliff Richardson are all inline for a prominent finish.
Tune in from 7:00 pm AEST for Live Coverage of the 2019 Cairns Invitational in the Ride the Rage Score Center.