By Brad Gray
Tye Angland is confident Awesome Pluck has the motor to measure up in the TAB Rewards Handicap (1200m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
The Jenny Graham-trained two-year-old was devastating when he stepped out on debut at Taree gapping his rivals by 5.5 lengths in heavy going. Angland got his first feel for the son of Pluck in a recent Warwick Farm barrier trial which he won impressively.
“In that trial he proved to me that he is a very nice horse,” Angland said.
Awesome Pluck's Warwick Farm trial - June 30
“He is a very big two-year-old and is still a little bit green but he has a stack of ability. The penny still hasn’t dropped with him so with his natural ability, and having drawn a wide gate where I like him drawn, I think he comes into the race as a strong chance.
“The feel I got off him in the trial was because he is so big he didn’t really have brilliant natural speed but he really did build through his gears. If he drew an inside gate I’d have been worried about getting cover straight away. Drawn wide I can take my time getting a position and ride the race to suit him.”
With the likes of Brook Magic, Luiza and Manicure all likely to press forward, Angland is aware that at least on paper, the race looks to set up perfectly for Awesome Pluck.
“I’m more than happy for them to roll along and if I can get a bit of cover that would be great but I just want to be in a position where I can give him room when I want.”
“He has stayed here at Rosehill. I went out and galloped him on Tuesday but it was just a spin around. He is a strong, raw two-year-old that will mature into a very nice three-year-old.
“It’s positive to see Jenny bring him down this early in his career because she has obviously got an opinion of him. I’ve had a couple of rides for Jenny here and there but I was booked to ride this guy at Gosford the day after Taree because they were concerned that Taree was going to get called off. That’s how I kept the booking.”
Awesome Pluck winning at Taree on debut
Angland is also upbeat about the chances of Kings Of Leon in the McGrath Estate Agents Handicap (1100m) with the three-year-old producing brilliant closing splits to run third at Wyong last Thursday.
“It was a massive run. Unfortunately we drew a wide gate and with him being first-up we wanted to get cover but ended up a long way back. I loved how he hit the line though. He has a great turn of foot,” Angland said, “We have drawn a better gate and he’ll be able to settle a bit closer with only one run into the corner.
“When I rode him last preparation he was still raw and a bit new to it all but time has helped him. I think he has matured. He has returned bigger and stronger and he knows what the game is about now.”
Kings Of Leon charging home at Wyong