Young Warwick Farm trainer Richard Litt is hoping it is third time lucky with his mare Joe’s Joy at Hawkesbury today.
Litt took time out to discuss the prospects of Joe’s Joy ($9.50 on TAB fixed odds), who lines up in the Lander Toyota Class 2 Handicap (1800m).
“She was to run in a similar race at Hawkesbury on October 13, but the meeting was called off after heavy rain leading up to it,” Litt said.
“Then we took her to Kembla Grange four days later for a Benchmark 64 Handicap (2000m).
“She had arrived on course to run in the last race, but the meeting was abandoned by stewards because of safety concerns resulting from the very windy conditions.
“I don’t think there will be any problems, although I would have preferred softer ground for the mare.”
Joe’s Joy is the only horse Litt prepares for Tobermory Stud at Braidwood, established by the late thoroughbred breeder Joe O’Gara, who won the 2008 Sydney Cup on heavy ground for trainer Kevin Moses and jockey Damien Oliver.
The six-year-old mare (by No Wine No Song’s sire Song Of Tara) is a younger sister to now retired five-times Sydney winner Song And Laughter, but is yet to rise to those heights.
“Joe’s Joy is still maturing even though she is an older mare,” Litt said. “She can gallop, but so far hasn’t lived up to what we expected of her.
“Her last run was good when placed at Nowra, and that was only her third start this preparation, so there should be further improvement.
“I’ve kept Andrew Banks on Joe’s Joy as she seems to race best for him.
“I feel she has a good chance; I would love to win another race with her for Joe’s widow Theresa (known to all as Rita).”
Joe’s Joy in April ran a close second to Letter To Juliette, who claimed her second successive Orange Cup (2100m) before finishing last (Letter To Juliette ran sixth) in the Provincial Stayers Benchmark 78 Handicap (2100m) at Hawkesbury’s stand-alone meeting 15 days later.
Banks rode Joe’s Joy in the first of her two wins; a Class 1/Maiden Plate (2000m) at Canberra in November, 2017 at only her fourth career start.
He was also aboard at her latest assignment in a Benchmark 66 Handicap (1600m) at Nowra on September 22. She chased gamely and was narrowly beaten by the winner Fortune’s Path.
In between her unplaced first-up Warwick Farm 1400m and 2100m Tuncurry Cup defeats, Joe’s Joy won a 1200m trial at Warwick Farm on September 5, defeating subsequent Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes winner Shadow Hero.
Hawkesbury trainer Garry White had also planned to start sisters Cool One ($7) and Also Cool ($15) at the washed-out home track meeting on October 13, and will line up the pair today.
Grant Buckley will ride Cool One, a rival for Joe’s Joy in the 1800m Class 2 Handicap, and Mathew Cahill partners Also Cool in the Pink Finss Charity Maiden Handicap (1300m).
Six-year-old Cool One, who won 1700m and 2100m races at Wellington and Orange earlier in the year, will find tomorrow’s 1800m more suitable than when a first-up third over 1400m at Orange on September 23, and drops from 60kg to 54kg.
Four-year-old Also Cool, who has raced only twice and was placed on debut at Orange, hasn’t started since February 1. She was runner-up, though beaten clearly, in a 1200m trial at Warwick Farm on September 24.
White also starts the lightly-raced War Cabinet (Cahill, $2.70) in the Easy Lane Provincial & Country Maiden Plate (1300m).
The four-year-old younger half-brother to stablemate Generalissimo has been placed at two of his three starts, and beat six rivals in a 1000m trial on his home track on October 14.
All Cylinders (Keagan Latham, $2.25 favourite), another who missed out at the abandoned Hawkesbury October 13 fixtures, will race in a tongue tie in the Ascend Sales Class 1 Handicap (1000m).
In the same race, the Anthony Cummings-trained Watching (Tommy Berry, $6.50) returns as a gelding.
The rail is in the TRUE position for today’s meeting, and a Good 4 rating was posted this morning, with a penetrometer reading of 4.85.
PAUL JOICE'S SELECTIONS
RACE 1: DEVELOPED, Highjacker, Mick An’ Nicks
RACE 2: WAR CABINET, Wicked Wench, Tri Nations
RACE 3: SUAVE, Oxidization, Brunetta
RACE 4: VOX POPULI, Interram, All Cylinders
RACE 5: VAN GIZ, Rari, Phoenix River
RACE 6: CANASTA, Jarhead, Brigid Of Kildare
RACE 7: CADENCE, Maggie Miss, Ivira
RACE 8: DE VALERA, Test Of War, Balmaceda
BEST: WAR CABINET, SUAVE, CANASTA