Gold Coast-based Paula Barron is one trainer not the slighest bit concerned by the heavy conditions at Ballina on Tuesday as her mare Cosmos Seven attempts to maintain her excellent record at the track.
Winner of three of her only four previous Ballina starts, Cosmos Seven lines up in the Benchmark 66 Hcp (1605m), the opening race on the seven-race card which will be run in heavy conditions.
All five of Cosmos Seven's career wins have been on either soft (three wins) or heavy ground (two wins). And she won at this corresponding July meeting last year when she scored over 1405m on a heavy 8.
Cosmos Seven's most recent Balllina appearance was back on April 8 when she won a Benchmark 58 over 1300m on a soft 5 surface. Two starts later on May 10 she ran second to Sunshine Coast galloper Savwell in the Mooball Cup over 1530m at Murwillumbah. Savwell has since run placings in both the Rockhampton and Mackay Cups.
"She loves it at Ballina and also loves the cut out of the ground," said Barron, who currently just has Cosmos Seven in work.
"And we'll get first use of the track so it won't be too chopped up.
"She is stepping up to the mile for the first time, but that isn't any concern. She was strong at 1530m a couple of starts back.
"She did win at this same meeting last year, so hopefully she can repeat that effort - horses are creatures of habit.
Cosmos Seven's last win at Ballina in April
"And I've got Matt McGuren riding her on Tuesday and he's been riding in terrific form."
McGuren is coming off a great Grafton carnival where his wins included the Grafton Guineas (Charmed Princess) and the Maclean Cup (Evopex).
Gold Coast apprentice Jag Guthmann-Chester was aboard Cosmos Seven in each of her three previous Ballina wins but rides one of her main rivals on Tuesday, the Toby Edmonds-trained Rumberella.
Rumberella is also proven in heavy going, coming off a last-start Maiden win over 1415m at Grafton on a heavy 8 on July 7.
The Edmonds stable could have key runners in three other races if they line up in the heavy conditions on Tuesday with Decisive Heart and Turmoil in the Maiden Plate (1255m), Heritage Sash and Spirit Of Indigo in the Maiden Hcp (1005m), and Missed Out in the Class 2 Hcp (1005m).
Heritage Sash and Spirit Of Indigo are both resuming from spells after proving rather costly for favourite backers during their previous campaigns.
I Am Invincible three-year-old Heritage Sash was backed from $2.10 into run the $1.60 favourite when he made his debut at Ipswich last October, but was beaten just over a length into third place behind Barefoot and Epic Girl.
He then started a $1.22 favourite at his next outing at Grafton on November 7, but the leader Sizzleonthebride kicked strongly and outgunned him in the run to the line. He has since been gelded and has trialled well in preparation for his return.
Three-year-old filly Spirit Of Indigo, also by I Am Invincible, is resuming since her only two runs over the summer when she was beaten twice as an odds-on favourite.
She was sent out the $1.70 favourite on debut at Coffs Harbour on December 13 but could only managen a 2.5 length third, then again was sent out a $1.80 favourite when beaten a similar margin into fourth place behind Zouki at Grafton on January 27.
Missed Out, formerly with Goulburn trainer Kurt Goldman, was having his first run for Edmonds when he resumed for a 1.6-length fourth to Inkblot in a Class 2 Hcp over 900m at the Gold Coast on June 22.
The Ballina track on Monday was rated a heavy 10, but track manager George Auckram has no doubt the meeting will go ahead.
"We've had 280mm of rain over the past three weeks but the track is definitely raceable and could get back to a heavy9 by Tuesday," he said.