By Doug Ryan
Wyong trainer Allan Denham has a good strike rate when his gallopers take on country class and resuming gelding Fantasy Eagle ($3.90 favourite on TAB) should be ready to “fly” at Manning valley Race Club’s TAB meeting at Taree on Friday.
His Elusive Eagle made it three wins in a row and four wins from its past five starts at Port Macquarie last Sunday and Fantasy Eagle could make it two wins in a row at Taree in the Country Championships @ Taree Benchmark 66 Handicap over 1250m tomorrow.
The four-year-old Zacinto (GB) gelding scored by just under a length over the same distance on a soft track in June and should again get conditions to suit with in-form jockey Alysha Collett in the saddle.
Denham after the win in June tried the gelding in provincial class for a second at Gosford and a third at Hawkesbury, followed by a fifth in heavy ground at Warwick Farm in August before sending Fantasy Eagle for a spell after two wins and four placings from only seven starts.
The galloper was fifth (2.14 lengths) in a trial at Gosford on January 19 and should be ready for the Taree assignment. He meets a handy field of strong winners and placegetters, one being four-year-old Stratum gelding Rumpshaker ($4.80), trained at Gosford by Nick Mitchell. The horse last start resulting in a 2.25 lengths third to Elusive Eagle at Port on January 22.
Prior to that Rumpshaker scored its second win in the heavy over 1000m at Taree on December 20. Another with a win at Taree at its last start on January 29 is five-year-old mare She’s Independent ($8.50), trained at Newcastle by Paul Perry and raced by a syndicate headed by his son Nathan’s wife who bought the mare for $10,000.
The horse has a liking for the track and distance for three wins and two seconds, but it wouldn’t surprise to see a Taree galloper upsetting.
Trainer Jim Louizos has 1300m track record holder, Bowraville Cup and Harrington Cup winner, six-year-old Danzibar Dancer ($10), resuming from a spell with local apprentice jockey Madeline Owen reducing its weight with a 4kg claim.
The horae showed its prowess with a third in a trial on January 11 to Wauchope’s Bellastar, one of the favourites for the $150,000 Newhaven Park MNCRA Qualifier for the Country Championships at Taree’s next meeting on February 21.
Before going for a spell and suffering a couple of setbacks, the mare was second at Newcastle in August.
“Since the trial she has had another jump out and would have started in the Queen Of The North ($60,000 race at Port Macquarie) but for a wide barrier,” Louizos said.
Then there is Taree six-year-old gelding Party Host ($8), trained by Joel and Wayne Wilkes, which showed a glimpse of form with a fourth over 1600m at Taree on December 20 and will again have the services of top country jockey Andrew Gibbons in what should be a great race.
Improving four-year-old Port mare Razano ($3 fav), trained by John Sprague for a syndicate headed by breeder David Parker, is aiming for its third win at its past four starts in the TAB.Com.Au Benchmark 58 Handicap over 1600m: “I hope she can win again,” Sprague said of his only runner at the meeting.
The mare was also nominated for a Highway race over 1800m in Sydney on Saturday but Sprague opted for Taree. She scored by just under a length at her previous start over 1600m in heavy going at the track on January 29.
“She is getting over more ground now that she has matured ... she was always going to be a stayer and she likes the track wet,” Sprague said.
An improved run is expected by five-year-old gelding Senatorial ($12), trained at Taree by Tony Ball; the horse having won over the distance when second-up previously, this being its second run from a spell: “The horse is much fitter now and has pulled up a treat after its last run,” Ball said.
RACE 1: Dismissal 1, Roman Candle 2, Another Sonette 3.
RACE 2: Enamour 1, Boom Queen 2, Sacred Sword 3.
RACE 3: Nicci Knee Knack 1, Arewerichenuff 2, Bettyfromtheoffice 3.
RACE 4: Muscadelle 1, Another Super 2, French Factor 3.
RACE 5: Underboss 1, What’s Onemore 2, Grand Acheeva 3.
RACE 6: Fantasy Eagle 1, Rumpshaker 2, Danzibar Dancer 3.
RACE 7: Razano 1, Zizania 2, Senatorial 3.
RACE 8: Rockness Angel 1, Spiritual Power 2, Chase My Crown 3.