He has won one of Hawkesbury’s two feature “miles” and now he’s after the other on his home track and wouldn't young Jason Attard dearly love to complete the double in tomorrow’s $150,000 Listed Aristocrat Technologies Hawkesbury Rowley Mile.
While hotpot Arbeitsam stands in his way, the local trainer has especially set his lightweight hope Reiby The Red for the 1600m feature.
Attard won the 2015 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) with Sons Of John, who is currently on the sidelines recuperating from a minor leg injury. But he says winning Thursday’s feature would be a very special occasion, given Reiby The Red is raced by his major clients, Hawkesbury Race Club vice-chairman Syd Kelly and his wife Carolyn.
“Syd and Carolyn gave me the opportunity to train, and it would be fantastic to win a feature race such as the Rowley Mile for them on our home track,” Attard said last night. “Obviously we’re taking on some tough company, but I’m sure this horse (Reiby The Red) will give us a great sight.”
Reiby The Red has started 10 times at 1600m for two wins – one of them over the Rowley Mile course – and three placings. He was placed over 1500m at Rosehill Gardens on June 17 and again at Canterbury in early July, and then at his latest appearance ran on well when a close fourth to Nat King Cu in a Benchmark 77 Handicap (1600m) at Warwick Farm on August 2.
“Adam Hyeronimus, who rode Reiby The Red then, has had a bit to do with him and feels he is best at 1600m when kept a bit fresh,” Attard said.
The six-year-old carried 59kg at his last run and drops 5kg tomorrow to help offset the class rise. Attard has called on an “old mate” Josh Adams to partner Reiby The Red in the Rowley Mile.
“Josh and I have known each other for quite a while,” Attard said. “We rode ponies together growing up, and he was apprenticed to Garry Frazer at Hawkesbury. He is doing a terrific job in this new chapter of his career, and I’m pleased to have him on Reiby The Red.”
Attard is strongly represented at the meeting with six runners – including a trio (Seeking Afftection, Megalopolis and Zedge) in the final event, the Scientific Games Class 1 Handicap (1800m).
Much improved four-year-old Arbeitsam, who has won three of his last four starts, is all the rage as a $1.50 favorite for one of Hawkesbury’s historic races, which was first run in 1881. Such is his stranglehold on pre-post betting that only two other horses (beaten Coffs Harbour Gold Cup favorite Pelethronius at $5 and last-start Rosehill Gardens winner Kingsguard at $8.50) are under double figures, with Reiby The Red on the fifth line of betting at $17.
Tim Clark, successful on Arbeitsam two starts back, returns as the gelding’s rider as a result of Tommy Berry’s defection to Hong Kong. Arbeitsam is currently priced at $26 for the $1m Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on September 30.
Co-trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott are relying on Arbeitsam for their inaugural Rowley Mile success, having won the Livamol Hawkesbury Gold Cup over the same course in April with Fabrizio.
In her own right, Waterhouse has won the race five times previously with Adamantly (2001), Fiery Venture (2003), Beauty Watch (2007), Rabbuka (2008) and The Offer in 2015.
Berry rode McCreery to victory last year, providing Sydney’s training supremo Chris Waller with both a Rowley Mile trifecta and his second success in the Listed event. Waller, who won the 2010 edition with Snow Alert, has two representatives tomorrow. He runs $10 chance Elle Lou (Glyn Schofield) and outsider Kinema (Blake Shinn).
Co-trainers Peter and Paul Snowden have opted for blinkers on their representative Zaunkonig, to be ridden by Adrian Layt.
South Coast trainer Paul Murray is taking his Coffs Harbour Gold Cup quinella horses - Darci’s Affair (Andrew Adkins) and Gold Horizon (Jon Grisedale) - to Hawkesbury for the Mile. Darci’s Affair (57.5kg) conceded his stablemate 0.5kg in winning at Coffs Harbour on August 3, and the pair is now on level weights (54kg minimum).
Murray also landed last Sunday’s South Coast Registered Clubs Cup (1435m) at Moruya with O’Reilly’s Revenge, who shouldered 63.5kg to victory.
Tye Angland and Brenton Avdulla, who between them have dominated the last three Hawkesbury riding premierships, are both in action at the Rowley Mile meeting. Angland, successful in 2014-15 with 18 wins and again last season (15 wins), rides Badge Of Gameness, Cosmic Powers, Rapid Feet, Tutu and Charming Lad.
Avdulla, the 2015-16 winner with 23 victories, partners Catesby, Misty Lad, Preferito, High Valyrian and his 2016 VRC Oaks heroine Lasqueti Spirit in the Rowley Mile.
The rail is in the TRUE position for tomorrow’s meeting, and the track this morning was rated a “Good 4“ with a penetrometer reading of 4.83. There has been no rain at Hawkesbury in the past week, and 22mm of irrigation has been put on the track (but none in the last 24 hours).
SELECTIONS RACE 1: GREATER GOOD, Underground, Sugarland Express. RACE 2: CATESBY, Delfuego, The Avenger. RACE 3: POSTMASTER GENERAL, Latin Boy, Cosmic Powers. RACE 4: MISTY LAD, Argemone, Rapid Feet. RACE 5: KEY TO GLORY, Teodosio, Vellor. RACE 6: COULTHARD, Hav A Nip, Crafty Tycoon. RACE 7: ARBEITSAM, Kingsguard, Darci’s Affair. RACE 8: SUGAR DANCE, Seeking Affection, Megalopolis. BEST BET: ARBEITSAM NEXT BEST: COULTHARD VALUE: POSTMASTER GENERAL