By Ray Hickson
Trainer Wendy Roche is well aware of eyebrows being raised over her placement of Nettoyer throughout the mare’s career to date.
Since her maiden win at her third appearance, by 10 lengths on a heavy track, back in June 2017 the six-year-old has started in 20 Group or Listed races and won the only non-black type event she contested in that time.
But it’s simply a case of a trainer backing her horse’s ability and not shying away from an opportunity.
“She broke her pelvis and was out for six months, when you have an injury such as that you look at their future as a mare and put her in races that increase her value,’’ Roche said.
“If the horse was trained by Chris Waller or Gai Waterhouse it wouldn’t be a talking point.
“At the end of the day a horse is really good at making a fool out of us all no matter how good they are. The difference between Nettoyer and other horses is we require a bit of luck.’’
Roche has been rewarded for her bold placement with a Group 3 win and six stakes placings up to Group 3 level while in five Group 1s Nettoyer has shown she’s not out of place.
The mare’s latest Group 1 attempt was in last week’s TAB Epsom and she clocked the second fastest last 600m of 34.98 (Punter's Intelligence), bettered only by Te Akau Shark, in finishing sixth.
Roche said Nettoyer has come through the Epsom in great fashion and is following a pattern that took her to that Group 3 win in the autumn by backing up in the Group 3 $160,000 Bentley Angst Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
“I think she is in with a very good chance and she won’t disappoint her fans or myself,’’ she said.
“I do wish it was 2000m but it’s a mare’s race and she pulled up exceptionally well. She didn’t really do anything except in the straight in the Epsom, she didn’t have a hard run, you would think she didn’t go around.
“It’d be pretty silly if she didn’t run in the race.’’
Glen Boss, who won the Epsom on Kolding, is back on board Nettoyer and the pair ran an eye-catching third in the Group 3 Cameron Handicap at Newcastle.
She’s pressing for favouritism with TAB at $4.60 on Thursday and Roche just hopes the backmarkers can come into play.
“I have to rely on there being a bit of pace on to enable her pattern of racing to be effective,’’ she said.
“At the moment the pattern of racing has been you need a horse on the pace and that doesn’t benefit a horse like Nettoyer.
Nettoyer runs sixth in the TAB Epsom at Randwick on October 5
"If she was like that she’d probably have won a lot more races than she has won.’’
Godolphin mare Organza will be chasing her first win since November last year in the Angst and trainer James Cummings is hopeful, but not bullish, she can be in the finish.
The five-year-old ($10) strung together five minor placings on end prior to midfield finishes in the Mona Lisa and Tibbie Stakes in September.
“She’s racing well without threatening, continues to work with enthusiasm, and gets back out to 1600m here,’’ Cummings said.
“She raced well over this trip at Flemington last preparation and we’re looking for improvement.”