THE MORNING LINE - PBR BALLARAT INVITATIONAL
By: Josh Hanson Saturday, March 9, 2019 @ 8:00 AM
The inaugural Ballarat Invitational brings a run of three-straight PBR Australia Monster Energy Tour events to an end. After the cowboys covered 40% of their bulls in Shepparton a fortnight ago, the Bulls fought back in Bendigo last week and reduced the riders' success rate to 30%. We should see similar numbers here in The Golden City.
Cody Heffernan on Twisted X (Kasper Bucking Bulls)
Twisted X has had four outs at PBR Australia's Monster Energy Tour level, and he’s given up two qualified rides, both to right-handed riders. Cliff Richardson was 85.5 points at Bendigo last season, and Jason Mara was 84 points at Newcastle. The bull likes to turn back to the right and enter a fast spin. He did stumble in his out at Shepparton, but that was his first PBR Australia trip in six months. After getting by two tough bulls last weekend to take home the buckle, Heffernan has an excellent chance to make it three-straight qualified rides here.
Lachlan Richardson on Wrangler's Geronimo (Kasper Bucking Bulls)
Richardson is on a hot streak, riding his last seven bulls in PBR Australia competition and he gets a nice chance to make it eight-straight here. We have seen Wrangler's Geronimo buck at the past two Monster Energy Tour events with Lane Mellers successful for 84 points in the Bulls debut at Shepparton. Geronimo has turned back to the right and the left, but he has shown he bucks with a steady tempo no matter which way he spins.
Bailey Woodard on Hot Rock (Woodall Rodeo Co.)
Hot Rock didn’t have a great night in Bendigo after backing out of the chute with Troy Wilkinson aboard for 77-points. In his previous outs, Hot Rock has been marked upwards of 43 points, and I think he is ridable at his best. Woodard is yet to put a score on the board in the 2019 PBR Australia season, but Hot Rock should turn back to the left and into his hand, which could shift the odds into his favour.
Troy Wilkinson on Hot Dots (Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls)
I am looking forward to seeing how this matchup plays out. Hot Dots is a veteran bull who is regularly around to the right with plenty of speed. While he matches up quite well with righties, just one left-handed rider has recorded a qualified ride in his PBR Australia career. That was Aaron Kleier in Adelaide. The left-handed Wilkinson has been riding well away from his hand at recent events, and I think this is one of the more even matchups of the night.
Cliff Richardson on Walking Wounded (Maynes Bucking Bulls)
This bull made his PBR Australia debut in Bendigo, and he got the better of Flávio Vinícius da Silva mid-ride. Walking Wounded threw plenty of tricks at the Brazilian, but amongst the changes in pace and belly rolls, he did turn back to the right. Richardson will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing 5.03-second buck off last weekend.
Aaron Kleier on Red Neck (Woodall Rodeo Co.)
We haven't seen too much of Red Neck in PBR Australia competition, but when we do, he generally gets ridden, especially by the top riders in the country. The cowboys have recorded five rides from seven outs. While the score is not expected to be high, it will be a score on the leaderboard and a chance to advance to the Championship Round for the reigning PBR Australian National Champion.
Joshua Jones on Switch Back (Throsby & Russell Bucking Bulls)
With just a handful of PBR Australia events under his belt, Jones has shown he has the talent to compete at the premier level. Switch Back has been covered three times in his short PBR career with left-handed riders perfect through two attempts. Lawson Nobbs was 82 points in Blackall, and Kurt Shephard was 83.5 points in Melbourne. Jones is riding at 50% this season, and he gets a chance to improve that record here on a bull that should turn back into his hand.