Experienced Hawkesbury trainer Garry Frazer is hoping his home track meeting on Thursday will be the start of a big couple of days for the stable. The three-time Group 1 winning mentor will have three runners at Hawkesbury and this morning named lightly-raced In The Zone as clearly the pick of his trio.
Then his attention will turn to Saturday meetings at Royal Randwick and Doomben, where he will be represented by Playard and Spright respectively. Playard, responsible for an excellent performance when narrowly beaten at the Scone Cup carnival earlier this month and unplaced only once from seven starts, runs in the Benchmark 77 Handicap (1400m).
And Spright heads north overnight to contest the Glenlogan Park Stakes and Tim Clark will be a new rider for her. First things first, though.
Frazer saddles In The Zone (Abax Contracting Provincial & Country Maiden Plate, 1300m), Music Miss (Schweppes F&M Class 1 Handicap, 1400m) and Perpetual Motion (Livamol Benchmark 60 Handicap, 2000m) at Hawkesbury.
Tye Angland rides In The Zone, and Grant Buckley has the mounts on Music Miss and Perpetual Motion.
Frazer is especially looking forward to saddling In The Zone and is confident the Not A Single Doubt three-year-old is in fact “in the zone” for his resumption.
He returns as a gelding, after being “all at sea” on debut when seventh in a Gosford 3YO Maiden Plate (1100m) last November, and also will race in a tongue tie.
“In The Zone didn’t begin well that day and made the home turn very wide, but made nice ground from last in the straight,” Frazer said. “We turned him out and later decided to geld him. I’m sure it will be the makings of him. I do have an opinion of him, and he has done nothing wrong in his two recent trials. He is ready to go back to the races and is definitely my best chance at Hawkesbury.”
In The Zone is raced by the trainer’s wife Julie in partnership with Bill Hilton and Scott Clisby and former Hawkesbury Race Club boss and now Panthers Group chief executive Brian Fletcher. Frazer specifically selected this race – which is restricted to provincial and country-trained horses – to resume In The Zone’s career.
He feels Music Miss will be better over more ground than tomorrow’s 1400m, and rates Perpetual Motion an each-way chance: “It’s hard finding the right race for Perpetual Motion and he's got plenty of weight (61kg),” Frazer said.
Whereas Playard, who races in the same colours as In The Zone, has drawn the rails at Randwick, it’s the complete opposite with Spright, who fared poorly at 16 in the Glenlogan Park against her own sex.
Hawkesbury pair and dual acceptors Magnifica (Jason Attard) and Trades Star (Wade Slinkard) have been withdrawn from tomorrow’s Mostyn Copper Group Maiden (1300m) to take on In The Zone in the Provincial & Country Maiden.
Like In The Zone, Slinkard’s Trades Star (Robbie Brewer) and Attard’s Magnifica (Keagan Latham) have also raced only once. Trades Star won the Warwick Farm 791m trial on May 4 in which In The Zone was just over a length away third, whilst Magnifica made a promising debut at long odds when third at Kembla Grange on May 12.
Former French horse Nahuel is the interesting runner in the Polytrack Maiden Handicap (1500m). Now with Richard Freedman at Rosehill Gardens, the four-year-old hasn’t raced since July 20 last year when third of 16 runners over 2400m at Vichy.
Nahuel returns as a gelding, and Freedman has put a cross-over nose band and lugging bit on the import. He has trialled twice recently, the latest when runner-up to five-times winner Beijing Board over 1200m at Randwick yesterday week.
The rail is 3m out from 1000m to the 400m, and in the TRUE position for the remainder. The track this morning was rated a Good 4 with a penetrometer reading of 4.87. A total of 3mm of irrigation has been put on the course proper in the last 24 hours and 19mm in the past week. No rainfall has been recorded in the same period.
PAUL JOICE'S SELECTIONS
RACE 1: TOROSO, Nahuel, Happy Hustler
RACE 2: MONSIEUR SISI, Follow The Money, Zigzagzou
RACE 3: IN THE ZONE, Redemption Road, Spin Bowles
RACE 4: HIERO, Never Doubted You, High Potential
RACE 5: SWEET VICTORY, Wisdom Tree, Fifth Affair
RACE 6: MOONDANCER, Pride of Darci, King Tomlola
RACE 7: WANDER, Boyish, King’s Tariff
RACE 8: RED VIKING, Itasca, Raw Emotion
SPECIALS: MONSIEUR SISI, IN THE ZONE, SWEET VICTORY