By Geoff Newling
Mark Mason headed to Sydney today chasing a Canterbury success with De La Hoya tonight and a first-up win with sprinting star Hidden Pearl at Randwick tomorrow while also eyeing off a Country Music Cup win at his home track next Thursday.
The Tamworth trainer now prepares Hidden Pearl, a brilliant sprinting mare who has won almost $350,000 in prizemoney for her Barraba and Tamworth owners.
A seven-year-old daughter of Hidden Dragon she is out of a good sprinting mare, Panama, Mark Mason used to train for the Phil White-managed syndicate.
Panama won a number of races for Mason locally and in Sydney while her gifted daughter has won eight of her 21 starts.
“She seems okay,” Mark Mason said after he left for Sydney Thursday night about 9.30pm, arriving at around 3am today.
“She won a trial at home well, ran 50.6secs, it was a good run.”
He hopes she is back to her best and, if she is, could be a definite chance.
However, she has not started since finishing a 12 length last to Snitty Kitty in the 1050m Lightning Handicap at Doomben last June.
Hidden Pearl has also drawn eight of eight in her comeback race, the $100,000 Rebecca Louise Summer Sprint (1000m) with Robert Thompson to ride.
Thompson will also jump aboard De La Hoya in tonight’s $40,000 Win $10K Cash At Canterbury Benchmark 75 Handicap (1100m). The six-year-old gelding son of Dubleo has won four of his 12 starts for Mason and returned from a long spell with a cracking third to Bonita at Scone on December 15.
Freshened from that effort he has drawn well (5) tonight in a race that also includes the Sue Grills-trained Under The Thumb.
“He has drawn well and has been working good,” Mark mason said.
While Mason has Hidden Pearl and De La Hoya chasing metro success tonight and tomorrow he has a trio of definite threats for next Thursday’s Concrete Industry Supplies Tamworth Country Music Cup meeting – Strictly Concert, Golden Legacy and Lucky Vision.
Like Hidden Pearl, Lucky Vision is first up from a spell tackling Thursday’s feature race, the $30,000 Concrete Industry Supplies Tamworth Country Music Showcase Class 1 Handicap (1200m).
The five-year-old chestnut gelding son of Lookin At Lucky hasn’t started since finishing an 11-length 11th to Dalmatia Prince at Tamworth on April 17 last year.
Golden Legacy is a talented four-year-old gelding son of Northern Meteor yet to finish out of a place in his three career starts. He is a last start winner from Gunnedah and while has been accepted into Thursday’s $30,000 Hunter Pods Class 2 Showcase Handicap (1000m) he is more likely to start in a Highway handicap in Sydney tomorrow week.
“We threw him at Tamworth just in case he drew bad in Sydney,” Mason admitted.
Strictly Concert is also having his second run back from a spell when he tackles the $30,000 Concrete Colour Systems Benchmark 70 Showcase Handicap (1200m).