Tonight’s 2019 Ballarat Invitational looks another tough event to pick, with many of the top cowboys in excellent form and drawing nicely for Round 1 but I think we could see Cody Heffernan (Singleton, NSW) make it back-to-back PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour wins.
In the long round, Heffernan looks to have a favourable matchup with Twisted X (Kasper Bucking Bulls). The 2016 PBR Australian National Champion is coming off a solid win last weekend in Bendigo, and I see on social media that Heffernan has remained in Victoria and has been working hard on all aspects of his game.
As I stated in the 2019 Ballarat Invitational edition of The Morning Line, Twisted X has given up two qualified rides to right-handed riders in his four PBR Australia outs with scores in the mid-80’s. Heffernan rides into his hand at a very high percentage, so If Twisted X turns back to the right once again, it could be game over for the bull.
Based on the bull power and results from the past few events, this should put the 29-year-old in a position to draw a solid bull for the Championship Round and in line for another buckle.
Troy Wilkinson (Upper Horton, NSW) is tracking along nicely in the PBR Australia standings, sitting in second place, 265.67 points behind Aaron Kleier with a 7-for-12 riding record for the season.
Last weekend at Bendigo, the 2017 PBR Australian National Champion finished 2-for-2 after turning down a re-ride in the Championship Round to ensure another strong top-5 finish.
The 28-year-old has drawn Hot Dots (Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls) in the long round, and while this matchup could go either way, a qualified ride will put himself in an excellent spot on the leaderboard heading into the final round of the night.
Another rider who I think looks well suited in Ballarat is young-gun Joshua Jones (Kingaroy, QLD). Jones will face off with Switch Back (Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls) in Round 1 who is yet to buck off a left-handed rider in his short PBR Australia career with scores between 82 and 83.5 points awarded.
Jones has covered all four of his long round bulls in PBR Australia, and while he is yet to make one stick in the Championship Round, his form indicates that it won’t be long until he makes the whistle.
Tune in from 6:00 pm AEST for Live Coverage of the 2019 Ballarat Invitational on my Live Event Updates page.