By Tony Megahey
The popular Tamworth women’s training contingent remains in city focus as Jane Clément’s outsider Elle’s Nel brings compelling form around brilliant Victorem into Saturday’s TAB Rosehill Gardens Highway Handicap (1100m).
In December Jane’s Shrapnel filly exploded from rearward after being galloped on to be beaten less than a half-length when fourth in a Royal Randwick episode won by Victorem. Jenny Graham’s powerhouse sprinter will be one of the favourites for the $500,000 Country Championship final at headquarters on April 7 after his brilliant win in the $150,000 Port Macquarie qualifier last Sunday.
Clement, at big value, is on the path of Tamworth training neighbours Sue Grills and Lesley Jeffriess who were highly competitive in recent Highway races, while Grills also won with her classy mare Fickle Folly.
“I hope it can continue for us Tamworth Girls, I’ve had a couple of Highway placings but we’ve drawn the visitor’s barrier (12),” Jane chuckled.
“But the claim might offset it a little for us. And in that race won by Victorem, she was galloped on, but her final section was still super, up there with the winner.
“She had a rough time so to look after her legs we put her back in the paddock for a few weeks but I’m really happy the way she’s come back.
“She’s worked really well in her regular routine and is forward enough to run us a race. She does tend to get back in the field, but she’s still won at 950m and 1000m and run time so she’s a nice progressive filly.
“Mikayla (Weir) has ridden her for both wins, so she understands her. With the claim and a below capacity field we can be closer.”
Elle’s Nel’s has won two of only four starts into a class 2 and her 55kg will be reduced by Weir’s 3.5 kg claim, putting her on a minimum weight.
Rod Northam’s Warwick Farm TAB Highway placegetter Try A Lil Harder, Danny Williams’s Adversity and David Kelly’s Camillo, competitive at Doomben, share favouritism. Williams has been prolific in the series and has an overwhelming presence in Saturday’s ($150,000) SERA Goulburn Country Championship Qualifier that he won last season with Pumpkin Pie.