By Ray Hickson
Nothing but quotes from the trainers of all runners in Sunday's $150,000 HNWRA Country Championships Qualifier (1400m) at Tamworth.
1. Suncraze (Melanie O’Gorman): “This time around I’m taking a different approach, I’m hoping I can qualify him by keeping him fresh and on his toes then get to Sydney and have a horse to run 1400m. As you can see from his form he is a good fresh horse. Suncraze’s racing pattern generally means he gets back, he likes to settle and rattle home.’’
2. Art D’Amour (Aleacia Bennett): “I think he’s the healthiest he’s ever been. We didn’t put him out there for a canter around at the trials, it was to get in and have a go and give Travis (Wolfgram) a good feel because he’s a quirky little horse. There should be no doubts about his fitness, any horse can win it and it’s just going to come down to luck in running and barriers.’’
3. Cosmic Engine (SCRATCHED).
4. Mr Pumblechook (Cody Morgan): “He drew 13 last year at Scone and was in front with 150m to go and wouldn’t have been beaten two lengths. Tamworth is much more his track. He’s probably not fit enough to draw deep and win being second-up. He’s going really well and he’ll be thereabouts.’’
5. Beauty Best (Melanie O’Gorman): “I thought he trialled very well, I’ve given him several jump outs at home and down at Scone too. He rolls forward generally so this track should suit him best. I know there will be some pace on but I can see him park just behind the leaders and hold a nice position. I think he will run a really good race.’’
6. Moobi (Cody Morgan): “He definitely has the X-Factor about him, he’s a pretty good horse on his day. I don’t think he knows how to lose just yet and while he’s like that he’s dangerous. The proviso is the Tamworth track is not his track but his trials have been faultless and he’s ready to go.’’
7. Carry On Ringo (Paddy Cunningham): “She’s done very well since last start. We gave her a trial last week and everything is looking good. She’s very handy, she’s a very good horse fresh. Everybody questions her at 1400m because she has only won up to 1200m but she was only beaten two and a half lengths in a Grafton Guineas and didn’t get close to the fence all the way around.’’
8. Unbiased (Cody Morgan): “We’ve trialled him right up and his trials have been good. His second trial was really sharp then after that I’ve backed off and made sure his trials have been quiet. He has 56kg, I think that’s the weight you want. A lot of them seem to be won with that so it’s in his favour.’’
9. Tim’s Principal (Jeremy Gask): “I thought his (last) run was excellent off what was a strongly run race. I’ve always thought he has more improvement in him from a maturity point of view despite his age. He’ll get back a little bit, which is not ideal at Tamworth, but I think we will be back with a couple of the fancied runners anyway.’’
10. Radiant Choice (Stirling Osland): “Obviously his lead up form could have been a bit stronger but I thought he improved from his first into his second start and he drops plenty in weight. For an on pacer like him the big drop in weight will help. He takes a little bit to come up but third-up last time in he won at Tamworth over 1400m.”
11. Anchois (Cody Morgan): “He’s a horse I like and he keeps progressing. He was soft in condition the other day with plenty of improvement in him. I think he’s a good six furlong horse but around Tamworth for $150,000 for the owners if he gets the breaks he’s going to be there for a long way.’’
12. Star Boy (SCRATCHED).
13. Hit The Target (Stephen Jones): “He’s going great and is 100% for Tamworth. We’re going there with a fit and happy horse. Realistically, the horse should have won five races on the trot and be unbeaten. Tamworth is a tighter track than where he’s been running. However, if they go hard up front he’ll be right on their hammer and hopefully finish in the top two to qualify.’’
14. Valree (Rodney Northam): “She’s had the three runs back, she’s fit and ready to go. She has won at Tamworth and raced well there a couple of times. The barrier is good as long as she jumps, if she can jump on level terms she doesn’t have to be quite so far back. She can run off some brilliant sectionals if she gets that bit of luck and can put herself in the finish.”
15. Roman Typhoon (Jan Bowen): “He’s fit as a fiddle, he’s been in work for a while and his preparation has been spot on. He can be a bit slow to get going and he over races, if they cross him he can fight the jock but I think the pace should be on. I think he will get a good strong 1400m.’’
16. Such A Hussy (Melissa Dennett): "She's always been one of those horses that needs a run and trains on. She has trained on and that's exactly what it's done, she's improved. She'll have to go back, that's just how she races. She never runs a bad race, that's just her, but it's a hard race we'll think about whether we run here or in the other race on the day which looks better for her.''
17 (Em). Burning Crown (Sue Grills): Running in the Class 2.
18 (Em). Majestic Pedrille (Mark Schmetzer): "She's going into this prep equal if not better than last prep. She will have to be at her best to be in the finish but we've got no weight, barrier one and 1400m around Tamworth are positives for her.''