It looks a mixed night for riders with the majority of bulls in Round 1 not seen at PBR events in almost a year while the Round 2 pen offers up plenty of familiar and experienced bovine athletes.
Look for the Cowboys to finish the night off strong.
Round 1 Matchups
Justin Paton on Wallaby Bob (John Gill & Sons)
Wallaby Bob can mix up his trips and make it a tough 8-seconds for riders. We have seen him ridden five of his last six outs with Budd Williamson the highest marked rider with 84.5 points at Shepparton earlier this year. He either starts to the left and reverses the spin, or he turns back to the right and stays there. Paton is in good form so we should see a score recorded.
Nathan Burtenshaw v City Kid (Woodall Rodeo Co)
City Kid is another bull that we saw ridden multiple times during the 2018 season. Qualified rides have been recorded in four of his last five outs to be exact. Bailey Woodard was 84.75 here in 2017 to place second in Round 2. The bull will be around to the left with good rhythm but can sometimes drift across the arena. I think Burtenshaw will start favourite in this matchup.
Lachlan Richardson on Business Hour (Woodall Rodeo Co)
Richardson gets a chance for revenge in a rematch from the Adelaide Invitational last year where the bull won the battle in 6.27 seconds. Business hour put in his best career PBR out in this arena last year with a big fake to the right, around then turning back to the left with good tempo to dislodge Roy Dunn in 5.91 seconds. If he can reproduce that out once again, I can see these two being a ton of points at the whistle.
Round 2 Matchups
Cody Heffernan on Earth Bound (John Gill & Sons)
Heffernan faces off with Earth Bound for the first time since the 2016 PBR Australian National Finals where the bull got the better of him in 3.19 seconds. Since then, the bull has been covered four times with Fraser Babbington scoring 85.5 points in Shepparton and Jose Vitor Leme making the whistle twice for 84-points at the Global Cup. Look for the bull to turn back to the left with a high kick to keep Heffernan in a good seat.
Rubens Barbosa on Down Under (John Gill & Sons)
This looks a nice draw for the Brazilian. Down Under was covered three times last season with fellow countryman Junio Quaresima winning Round 2 in Tamworth with 87.50 points last year. The bull turns back to the left with excellent timing. With Barbosa in excellent form following his runner-up finish last weekend in Townsville, I expect him to get the job done here.
Junio Quaresima on Red Rat (George Hempenstall)
Red Rat is a big bull that likes to take some strong jumps from the chutes before turning back to the left and trying to overpower the rider. Cody Heffernan was 87.50 points in the Newcastle Invitational Championship Round back in August, and Kurt Shephard was 83 in the Dubbo short-go. Quaresima has struggled with bulls that turn back away from his hand so far this trip, so this one could go either way.
Nathan Burtenshaw on Road Hammer (TnR Bucking Bulls)
Burtenshaw has an excellent opportunity to aim for a second score against Road Hammer. The bull will turn back to the left as the gate cracks, and if you can make the turn, you are generally in good shape. Justin Paton was 85-points at Wodonga earlier this year with Cliff Richardson adding 84.5 points at Blackall in September.
Lachlan Richardson on Street Wise (TnR Bucking Bulls)
Lachlan’s brother Cliff is the only man to get a score on this bull in PBR competition, recording 85.5 points to win the opening round in Newcastle. Street Wise should turn back to the right, into Richardson’s hand and that should allow him to open up and have some fun as the bull winds his way across the arena.
Troy Wilkinson on Bring The Action (TnR Bucking Bulls)
Welcome back, Troy! Bring The Action takes a big leap from the chutes before making a sharp turn back to the left. He can throw a few tricks at the rider if they manage to turn the corner, but I think this looks an excellent fit for the left-handed Wilkinson. Out of the three qualified rides on Bring The Action during the 2018 season, two belong to Bailey Woodard who was 88.5 points at Wodonga and 87-points at Blackall.