Hawkesbury trainer Scott Singleton expects to confirm Concessions as an addition to his Saturday stand-alone team after she steps up in distance on her home track on Tuesday.
Though never in contention when resuming in the final qualifier of the Polytrack Provincial Championships at Newcastle on 31 March, Singleton is tipping a “different” Concessions in the Polytrack Hawkesbury Stayers Prelude Benchmark 79 Handicap (2000m).
A good performance will clinch the four-year-old Tickets mare a start in the $100,000 Provincial Stayers Benchmark 85 Handicap (2100m) at Hawkesbury’s annual stand-alone fixture on Saturday week (28 April).
Always hard to beat on her home track (all four wins of her career have come from only six starts there), Concessions finished down the course in Princess Posh’s Newcastle qualifier (1400m), but her trainer wasn’t disappointed with the performance.
“Her run was better than it may have looked on paper,” Singleton said this morning. “She was doing her best work over the last 150m and ran right through the line.
“Concessions won second-up over 1800m here in January last year after resuming over 1400m. This looks a good race for her and it works in well leading up to the Provincial Stayers race on Saturday week. She is ready to go and I’m sure she will run well tomorrow.”
Singleton has already confirmed Shazee Lee, who resumed with a solid ninth to all-the-way winner Quilista in last Saturday’s Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick, as a definite runner in the $175,000 Group 3 Godolphin Crown (1300m) at the stand-alone meeting.
Shazee Lee won both last year’s Provincial Championships qualifier (1400m) and Group 3 Blacktown Workers Club Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) on her home track.
“I was happy with her first-up run at Randwick,” Singleton said. “She was a little fresh and raced a bit keen early, then levelled out at the 100m. That run will top her off for the Godolphin Crown.”
Singleton this morning was undecided whether promising filly Stock Up would run in tomorrow’s Abax Contracting Metro & Provincial Maiden Plate (1300m) or be kept for a 1300m Maiden Plate against her own sex when the Kensington track re-opens on Wednesday. Her performance in whichever race she contests will determine whether he backs her up at home on Saturday week, chasing a second successive Hawkesbury Guineas.
“She will run in the Guineas if she wins, but I won’t run her if she is still a maiden.” Tavistock filly Stock Up, a cheap purchase at the Karaka (NZ) yearling sales two years ago, was an eye-catching first-up second to Montrachet in a Maiden Plate (1300m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 2 when resuming. That was only her third start.
Chris Waller’s High Chaparral filly Youngstar (Blake Shinn), a top prospect in tomorrow’s Hawkesbury Race Club Motel Maiden Plate (1500m), is also an acceptor in the same race as Stock Up on the Kensington track on Wednesday.
Singleton’s other Hawkesbury runner tomorrow is Itasca in the T & L Fowler Concreting Class 2 Handicap (1600m). Christian Reith rides the four-year-old and also is booked for Concessions and Stock Up.
Itasca resumed at home when fifth to Hawkesbury mare Lady Chalfont in a Benchmark 63 Handicap (1400m) on 5 April: “He carried 60.5kg then and wasn’t beaten far. He drops to 57kg this time and is getting to a more suitable distance.”
Dual acceptor Bashirah has been withdrawn from the 1300m Metro & Provincial Maiden Plate (1300m),and instead runs in the 1500m Maiden Plate, with 3kg claimer Mikayla Weir her rider.
Iggy The Moocher, who had two unsuccessful attempts at reaching the Country Championships Final, has joined Bjorn Baker’s stable and lines up in tomorrow’s Class 2 Handicap (1600m) against Itasca. Sydney Cup winning rider Blake Shinn takes the mount.
Previously with Matt Dunn at Murwillumbah, Iggy The Moocher was a strong-finishing third to stablemate Snitz in the Grafton qualifier (1400m) on 11 March before his eighth to Don’t Give A Damn in the Muswellbrook Wildcard (1280m) on April 1. That was the first time the lightly-raced Choisir three-year-old had missed a placing in seven starts.
The rail is 3m out from the 1300m to 800m, 5m from the 800m to the winning post and in the TRUE position for the remainder.
Hawkesbury this morning was rated a “Good 4”, with a penetrometer reading of 4.94. A total of 28mm of irrigation has been put on the track in the past week, but nil in the last 24 hours. No rainfall has been recorded in the week gone.
Paul Joice’s selections
RACE 1: ORIA, Tapavino, Exellas.
RACE 2: DUNATUN, Prime Candidate, Will’s Bid.
RACE 3: WITH PURPOSE, Military Academy, Daydream Explorer.
RACE 4: STOCK UP, Belle of Clonmel, Prahaar.
RACE 5: NICCO LAD, Invictus Salute, Royal Celebration.
RACE 6: YOUNGSTAR, Happy Hustler, Skaldak.
RACE 7: WEEKEND AFFAIR, Our Mantra, Red Captain.
RACE 8: LOVANI, Equipped, Social Element.
SPECIALS: YOUNGSTAR, STOCK UP, ORIA