By Tony Megahey
The decision to scratch Kiwi comeback talent Appoint Percy from a winnable Royal Randwick TAB Highway last Saturday, is the strongest push possible for a $60,000 Rosehill Gardens TAB Highway Plate, 1500m this Saturday.
An impressive Highway winner last season at headquarters, and with Canterbury Park and Warwick Farm placings on his resume, Appoint Percy accepted second-up at Randwick from an injury enforced spell. And with the Hugh Bowman influence, was amongst the favourites.
“We decided not to run because he’d had a real tough run first up with 61kg at Wagga on a heavy nine, and a quick back up was not in his best interests this early in his prep,” explained in form trainer Luke Pepper.
“He’s had time to recover, worked well, and the set weights scale, and 1500m suits him at this stage of his prep.
“We’ve got the right horse for it, we’ve always had an opinion of him.
“We were always planning another Highway, we just had to wait until it was suitable. “Brenton Avdulla is back on, he’s ridden him in all his best performances, so it’s all positive going into Saturday,” offered Pepper. Three weeks ago, Pepper trained a quinella at Canterbury Park with Viceroy ridden by Bowman and Erin’s Zar by Simon Miller. Earlier in the season he had another Canterbury mid week win with Marquee, and recently the stable won at Moruya with New Zealand mare No Pushover.
Appoint Percy will carry 59kg for Avdulla who is in a compelling duel with Bowman for the Sydney jockey’s premiership.
Avdulla rode Appoint Percy to win at Randwick in early February, and then for solid mid-week placings to talented Tower of Song at Canterbury Park, and to Multifacets at Warwick Farm. That equates to by far the strongest form-lines for Saturday’s race.
Appoint Percy’s promise had connections then considering a Brisbane Winter Carnival campaign. However he sustained injuries and was spelled for near three months. He resumed at Wagga Wagga two weeks ago.
On Saturday he’s top of the betting markets with Doomben placegetter Prada Miss and previous Rosehill Gardens Highway winner Force of Magic.