The bar continues to be raised for Squidensquizz and so far he has peaked with career-best efforts heading into the feature race at Albury on Tuesday.
At the advancing age of seven, Squidensquizz has never performed better winning four races during his time with his current Albury trainer Ron Stubbs. From his past four starts, Squidensquizz has won three times with two of those victories at his home track of Albury.
Stepping up to open class and again at his preferred distance of 1500m, Squidensquizz will carry a lot less weights than in recent starts where he has lumped around 60kg on heavy tracks.
The gelding will again be met with a heavy track and Stubbs plans to walk the track on race morning before committing to a start.
“I’m not over-confident of him on a heavy 10 track so we will see what happens with the rain and the state of the track leading up to the race,” he said.
“He does appreciate racing at a bigger track like Albury and one of the reasons I went for the claim was because he will get in with the light weight against higher rated horses on a pretty wet track. He has been carrying several kilograms more in restricted races and winning well, but this race will be tougher.”
Apprentice jockey Aaron Sweeney will reduce Squidensquizz’s weight to 53.5kg which is the lightest he has carried in several starts. Stubbs hopes it can give his runner the edge.
“The lighter weight has to help plus he is racing up on the speed now and finishing off well whereas before he was getting back and running on,” he said.
Meanwhile, Albury trainer Jodie Bohr doesn’t often start three horses at a meeting, but her chances look strong with Footmark, Pacific Tycoon and The Big Sheila. Listed as an emergency at this stage, The Big Sheila is a last start Wagga winner breaking through at her 20th start
Named as such because of her physique, The Big Sheila is raced by a syndicate of female owners: “I hope she gets a start because it was a good win last time,” Bohr said.
Her best chance appears to be recent winner Pacific Tycoon, while Footmark has only raced twice since November of 2016: “He has been out due to a couple of operations, but hopefully he is on the way back,” she said.
Pacific Tycoon and Footmark are raced by John Spalding who bred the duo from his own mares: “Pacific Tycoon is up a class and won two starts ago so I will just see how he goes,” Bohr said.