The countdown to the 2019 Bendigo Invitational has entered its final hours, so it is time to lock in my picks for the PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour event.
I will go with Troy Wilkinson and a couple of other heavy hitters this week.
The 2017 PBR Australian National Champion has won two go-rounds and picked up three top-5 event finishes thru the four events since he made his return from injury but is yet to capitalise and turn this success into an event win.
With the consistency that the 28-year-old has shown, I don’t think it will be long until he breaks through for a win and I believe his Round 1 draw sets him up quite well to go close to taking home the buckle.
In the long round, he will face off against Jack Hammer (Woodall Rodeo Co.) who holds a strong 10-1 record against the Cowboys in PBR Australia competition. It has been quite a while since he has faced a left-handed rider with the talent of Wilkinson.
Jack Hammer will turn back to the left, doesn’t have too many tricks, and he has a steady rhythm to his action. He does tend to drift rather than make his spin in the same spot so Wilkinson will have to stay active, but I think this ride should result in a solid score and a nice draw for the Championship Round.
Aaron Kleier is also knocking on the door of another event win, and he will take on Feel The Fire (Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls) in Round 1.
The 21-year-old is a model of consistency, riding at 70% for the current season and he has taken home prizemoney from nine of his last 11 events.
This match will be the second time that these two have faced off, with the reigning Australia Champion awarded 83.5-points at the whistle in Blackall last season. Feel The Fire’s regular trip will be into Kleier’s left hand with a possible fake to the right away from the gate as they clear the chute.
Lachlan Richardson will be the first Cowboy out in Round 1 against Hazmat (Kasper Bucking Bulls) in a matchup that looks set up to favour the right-hander.
The seven-time PBR World Finals qualifier has covered five straight bulls and recorded three consecutive top-7 finishes.
Hazmat has a fast spin to the right and doesn’t tend to stray too far from the gate. The 26-year-old historically has covered bulls with a similar action at a very high success rate, and this contest should set him up for another strong result.
Tune in from 6:00 pm AEST for Live Coverage of the 2019 Bendigo Invitational on my Live Event Updates page.