By Grahame Timbrell
When you are on to a good thing stick to it and trainer Gavin Andrews has no intention of changing his pre-race routine with Mai Gomeroi leading into the Mr Arthur Coal Benchmark 60 (1500m) at Muswellbrook on Tuesday.
The vastly improved Mai Gomeroi has won his last three races in succession, all at Muswellbrook, but the form turn around came after a long last in a Class Three at Tamworth at the end of April.
Andrews was called into the stewards’ room and told a warning would be placed on the horse’s record for a poor performance.
The trainer then decided to re-introduce a pre-race routine he had used on the horse when he won his maiden at Muswellbrook in September, 2014. “On that occasion I gave him a sprint up on race morning and it switched him on,” Andrews said.
“It is something I learned many years ago and something that Tommy Smith and Bart Cummings sometimes used.
“It is not something you can do with all horses but in this case it works with my horse.
“It is also only something you can do when they are racing on their home track.
“The horse will have a little sprint up on race morning.
“It’s not very far, just enough to switch him on and for him to realise he is going to the races.
“If he wins I will look for a race in Sydney or him but if he gets beaten we will be back at Muswellbrook for the next meeting.
“Having top weight and starting from barrier 12 is a concern.
“There is more speed and depth in this race than in the previous three.”
At Mai Gomeroi’s last start regular jockey, Anthony Cavallo, was forced to sit two and three wide without cover but the horse pulled out plenty near the line to win after looking beaten half way down the straight.
“He drew a wide gate in that race and Anthony had no option,” Andrews said. “I don’t want him ridden in this race like that, not with 60.5 kilograms so I will be asking Anthony to go forward and find cover and with the extra speed in the race he should be able to do so.”
The Stephen Gleeson trained Kestrel won his maiden at Muswellbrook two years ago and has not been to the races since but returns for the @Thebrookracing On Twitter Class One (1000m).
“Chris O’Brien rode him to that win and thought he was a horse with potential and would get further so I tipped him out for a break,” Gleeson.
“He came back in, was working along nicely then damaged a tendon and had to go back to the paddock for 12 months.
“I have had him back in work for some time and he did a really nice piece of work last Thursday but like any horse that has had a tendon injury he is a day to day proposition.”
Kestral is one of three horses the Muswellbrook based Gleeson will start with KillaMoovz to run in the Magic Millions No 1 For G1 Wins Maiden and Cosmic Reign in the Schmetzer Racing Class One.
KIlla Moovz turned in a great run when a close third on debut at while Cosmic Reign has raced only four times for a win, two seconds and a fourth.
“I think Cosmic Reign is my best chance of going home with a winner,” Gleeson said.
SELECTIONS 1-12.45, TWO RIVERS WINES 3YO C AND G MAIDEN, 1000m: ALL STAND 1, Kennywyn 2, Shintastic 3, Smart Ali 4. 2-1.20, MAGIC MILLIONS NO 1 FOR G1 WINS 3YO FILLIES MAIDEN, 1000m: FRONT RUNNING 1, Killa Moovz 2, Magic Belinda 3, Miss Expensive 4. 3-1.55, @THEBROOKRACING ON FACEBOOK MAIDEN, 1280m: HAYDEN BOY 1, Magic Name 2, Me Auld Segotia 3, Miss Nellie 4. 4-2.35, SCHMETZER RACING CLASS ONE, 1280m: COSMIC REIGN 1, Homily 2, Love None 3, Jacknife 4. 5-3.10, TAB.COM.AU BENCHMARK 55, 1000m: SWIFT REPLY 1, Pel 2, Lasszou 3, Kenny Succeed 4. 6-3.45, @THEBROOKRACING ON TWITTER CLASS ONE, 1000m: MISS FISHER 1, The Baker 2, Broodwar 3, Prince Dylan 4. 7-4.20, MT ARTHUR COAL BENCHMARK 60, 1500m: MAI GOMEROI 1, St Luke 2, Spinning Gold 3, Crossing Guard 4. BEST BETS All Stand, Miss Fisher.