Bill ‘N’ Eve will always be a special horse for his trainer John Marzol even if he doesn’t win another race, but the well-performed galloper is more than keeping up his end of the bargain heading into the feature races at Moruya over the next two weeks.
The five-year-old will start in the Club Narooma Showcase Cup (1425m) on Monday ($8 with TAB fixed odds) and then all going to plan contest the Moruya Town Plate two weeks later. ^
Marzol has a soft spot for Bill ‘N’ Eve who is named after two of his grandchildren, and to date, the galloper has proved his worth with 13 top three finishes from 27 starts. That’s a near 50% place strike-rate and the best could be ahead as Bill ‘N’ Eve will have the chance to race under lighter weights than he is used to in upcoming races.
“He won his first two starts as a two-year-old and has nearly always carried big weights. He carried 62 and 63 kilograms a few starts back and then when he dropped down to 54 kilograms at Moruya last start in a higher graded race he showed what he can do,” Marzol said. “It was the first time he has carried such a light weight and Monday will be the first time he has carried 56 kilograms and that will suit him as well.”
Now based in Wagga, Marzol called Moruya home for 14 years and made the trek early on Sunday morning to try and miss most of the heat. Bill ‘N’ Eve loves the coastal environment and also the Moruya track where he excels winning four times and finishing second on three occasions from nine starts.
“He does loves the track and I think the sandy surface suits him. When we got here he went for a buck in the sand and it suits him as does a heavy track because he has a bad hip.
“He hangs in his races because of the hip, but down here it suits him and I expect him to run a big race again the way he is going. The lighter weights make a big difference - he is a big gangly horse who likes a bit of room.”
Bill ‘N’ Eve is nicely drawn in barrier three and will again oppose Royal Jackpot (third) - a $7.50 chance - who he edged out on December 24. Purchased for $1100, Bill ‘N’ Eve ticked over $100,000 in earnings with his latest win: “He is by Sebring and we race him with some friends. He has been a good buy for a little outlay,” Marzol said.
“He was a roarer and the operation he had to correct that was a success – he has been a nice horse all the way through.”
Training combination Barbara Joseph and Paul Jones will be represented by Rock On Zariz ($7.50) and Almost Court ($3.60 favourite). Already the stable has won the Gundagai Snake Gully Cup, Wagga Ted Ryder Cup and the first Federal Handicap at Canberra in the past seven weeks.
Rock On Zariz ran last at Rosehill last start but prior to that took out the Stan Sadleir Handicap at Wagga. Almost Court won three straight before finishing sixth at Canterbury in September. The lightly-raced galloper is the early favourite ahead of Tycoon Mar ($5).