By Tony Megahey
Country feature race specialist Mack Griffith is “on schedule” for successive TAB Highway wins in a $60,000 series, Class 3 Plate over 1500m at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Mudgee’s Griffith has a high opinion of five-year-old gelding Schedule, who will likely be favourite on the strength of a dominant Royal Randwick TAB Highway success over 1400m on a heavy eight surface four weeks ago.
Consistent stable mate Puzzling Wonder is also in the market off a Mudgee win in easier grade recently.
Gooree Park Stud’s long time pre-trainer says Schedule, in particular, has further improved.
“He’s developing into a real nice horse, he’s up three kilos and out to 1500m but that won’t worry him, the further the better,” Griffith said.
“He’s a High Chaparral, bred to get further, the owners originally bought him off Lloyd Williams in Victoria. “They fancy a punt, he’s three from six for us now, hasn’t missed a place, so he’s paid his way for sure.
“He got through the heavy strong enough at Randwick and he got right over the top of them over 1300m in soft at Scone.
“Whatever the surface on Saturday he’ll handle it.
“Next prep we’ll really see the best of him, hopefully better races, and like I say over longer.
“Puzzling Wonder won well at Mudgee and he’ll be fitter.”
They carry equal top weights of 59kg. Schedule to be ridden by Jason Collett after Kerrin McEvoy won on him at headquarters. Tye Angland rides Puzzling Wonder.
Griffith has a super strike rate with just four in work, as his focus is pre-training the big numbers at world renowned Gooree Park at Mudgee.
In the 2015 season, Mack’s now retired Pera Pera won five from six, including a Randwick Highway and multiple regional winner Binalong Road won the 2015 Bathurst leg of the Country Championships.
There are numerous Country Cups also on Griffith’s resume, including a Canberra feature, and he took over the training of the 2001 Black Opal winner Coral Salute.
Multiple TAB Highway winners, Matthew Dale with Hay Now, and Danny Williams with recent Rosehill series winner O’Lordy will be prominent in betting markets.