By Mark Brassel
With just six starts under her belt, promising filly Hebrides Maneuver will take another step towards landing some big targets should she perform up to expectations at Grafton on Tuesday.
Her Taree-based trainer Greg Drury, who turned 70 on Sunday, holds a high opinion of the three-year-old who is set to contest the Class 2 Handicap (1106m).
“She should have won her last three starts,” Drury declared. “She was flattened the other day at Tamworth after 100 metres and then just had no luck in the straight.”
Drury was referring to Hebrides Maneuver’s fast-finishing third to Three Hats at Tamworth (1000m) on September 12.
“If the rider stays on the fence turning for home, she wins. But he pulled her around the leaders and just as he did, the run on the inside opened up. She hit the line hard and was beaten less than a length.”
Hebrides Maneuver had been impressive winning her previous two starts at Cessnock (900m) and Grafton (1006m).
“I always space her runs and she seems to appreciate it. She’s a lovely little filly and if she happens to win at Grafton I will probably turn her out for a spell and look at a Highway race in Sydney.
“I’m hoping she might grow a bit more if she has a break. She should get 1200m and even 1400m and if she does, then a lot opens up for her including the Country Championships.
“There’s plenty of Country Championships horses going around now and I reckon she’s the equivalent if not better. I normally don’t like to talk up my horses but I think this filly has her fair share of ability and could go on to bigger things.
“She might be only small but she’s pretty good and has plenty of talent. I hope she runs a huge race on Tuesday as I need the money!”
Drury is a ‘hands-on’ trainer and has a maximum of only four horses in work at most times.
“I’m getting on and do it all myself, so I don’t really want more horses than that.
“I used to train trotters but always liked gallopers so I thought I’d give them a try. I used to ride my horses on the beach but I’m too old for that now so I now train at the course.”