Tonight’s 2019 Traralgon Invitational marks the final event of PBR Australia’s early season run through Victoria, and the last opportunity for riders to earn Monster Energy Tour points until the Sydney Origin event in June.
Cody Heffernan on Broken Halo (Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls).
The Singleton Cowboy looks unbeatable after covering six straight bulls and winning three consecutive events, but Broken Halo is a smart bovine athlete who reacts to the feel of the rider. The bull has been looking to turn back to the right initially which should suit Heffernan if he can handle the rolls that Broken Halo has shown in his recent performances. Broken Halo has been covered just twice from seven outs, but the 2016 PBR Australian National Champion will be the toughest opponent he has faced so far in the 2019 season.
Cliff Richardson on Class Act (Woodall Rodeo Company).
Class Act is a bull that doesn’t have too many tricks up his sleeve and is mostly predictable. He will turn back to the right not too far from the chute, and that should hold Richardson in good shape. Where many riders get into difficulty is on the change of direction back to the left, which isn’t always a smooth transition. Brady Fielder was 80 points on Class Act earlier this season in Marrabel, but the bull can combine with riders for much higher scores.
Robinson Guedes on Snitch (Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls).
In his five PBR outs, five riders have got the better of Snitch with ride scores averaging in the mid-82 point range. The Brazilian hasn’t had his most fruitful trip down under, but he has a superb opportunity to finish off his stay with a bang here. Snitch can turn back both ways but always has excellent rhythm. He does prefer to enter a right-handed spin from the right chutes which should suit Guedes.
Flávio Vinícius da Silva on Red Man (Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls).
Since finishing third at February’s Shepparton Invitational, Da Silva has covered just one bull at his past three events. I think this will change after the Brazilian cowboy picked up Red Man in the Round 1 draw. Red Man is a veteran bull who can spin either way, but his action makes him one of the better draws in this round. The cowboys make the whistle on Red Man 50% of the time in PBR competition.
Fraser Babbington on Chain Reaction (Woodall Rodeo Company).
The 2015 Australian National champion makes his return to the competitive arena after four months on the sideline. I think Chain Reaction is a good draw for Babbington in his comeback ride. This bull has been covered twice in his last two performances for 82 and 83 points, and we should see similar numbers here. He will turn back to the left and away from the Kiwi’s hand, but I don’t think he has many tricks in his repertoire that would be enough to dislodge a fit Babbington.
Tyler Morgan on Business Hour (Woodall Rodeo Company).
These two met earlier this season at the Adelaide Invitational, where the Mt Morgan cowboy was 81 points on his way to recording a fifth-place finish in the long round. This bull produces a rough trip with fakes in both directions, forward movement and belly rolls for the rider to counteract. If Morgan can make it into the to the spin, which should be to the left, he may be able to make it two from two against Business Hour.