By Geoff Newling
Mark and Zach Hatch make a pretty good team and could add to their growing victories at Quirindi on Friday.
The father and son trainers are based in Tamworth, have been meeting with recent successes with their small stable and could strike again at Quirindi where Mark has recent Merriwa Cup winner Collins Street engaged and Zach has two in the one race – Luceo Non Uro and Wollumbin.
Funnily enough Zach, also a qualified farrier, was leading his father on the Hunter and North West Racing Association trainer’s premiership before Tuesday’s Tamworth meeting. He had a quick chuckle about that when told of their premiership placings (equal 28th).
Zach had prepared five winners so far this season but Mark joined him on that mark when Iwatani blasted down the middle of the Tamworth track to win Tuesday’s $20,000 Goodwin Kenny Benchmark 65 Handicap (1200m). It was the gelding’s sixth win in 23 starts for Hatch, who describes him as a “bread and butter horse”.
“He’s a real honest little horse, a bread and butter horse,” Mark Hatch said after the race. Iwatani was coming off a win at Armidale over 1100m and then a good third to In Good Time in the John Clift Memorial at Tamworth on Tamworth Cup day. In Good Time then went to Scone last weekend and won a Stakes race for Wyong trainer Tracey Bartley.
“It was a real good run,” Mark Hatch said of that Cup day placing. “Had to chase from a long way out.”
The 1000m of that sprint was just too short for Iwatani, Mark said: “They just ran him off his feet,” he said of the 1000m. “Just had too much work to do.”
Mark Hatch will be looking for another big run for Collins Street when the seven-year-old gelding contests the $20,000 tab.com.au Benchmark 65 Handicap (1450m) on his way to a possible Gunnedah Cup.
Zach runs both Luceo Non Uro and Wollumbin in the $20,000 Quirindi Auto Electrical Benchmark 55 Handicap (1200m) where they have drawn seven and 10 gates respectively. Zach believes Luceo Non Uro will be a chance after drawing a good barrier (7) and with in-form Josh Oliver on board: “Josh is riding well,” Zach said.
"Luceo Non Uro will be a chance, he’ll be there and hard to beat from that barrier. He was unlucky last start at Binnaway, got blocked for a run twice, probably should have won.” Quirindi is a favoured track for Zach as that’s where he trained his first winner (with his first runner).
It’s another busy weekend for him too. After Friday’s meeting he then runs out for Dungowan and Saturday’s big charity day clash with Kootingal Moonbi Roosters at Kootingal Oval.