By Ray Hickson
Trainers Jarrod Austin and Angela Davies both consider aiming their respective stable stars Inanup and Through The Cracks at next month’s $1m The Hunter, over 1300m, a throw at the stumps.
The duo clash first-up in the Southern Cross Handicap (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday and both trainers are expecting positive runs to tell them the Newcastle feature is the right target.
Austin campaigned Inanup through the winter and he won successive city races before failing in the Group 3 Show County on August 22 where he was ridden upside down.
“He was just way out of his comfort zone, I thought he stuck on quite well to be honest,’’ Austin said.
“He only got beaten a small margin so I thought it was a good run but put a line through it.
“My only query is we climbed up the benchmark ratings and with Brock Ryan’s claim he’s carrying 59.5kg and that’s a good horse’s weight.”
Inanup spent about 18 days in the paddock after his last start and Austin said he retained a high level of fitness while out having a freshen.
His only concern prior to resuming was to make sure leading in the Show County didn’t get into his head but that was allayed with a quiet trial two weeks ago.
Inanup runs fourth in a Warwick Farm trial on October 9
“I was really happy with his trial, after he was pushed to the front in the Show County I just wanted to make sure he hadn’t taken any mental side effects from that and wanted to rush forward,’’ he said.
“But he was relaxed and sat in behind the speed and did everything the jockey asked.
“We want a nice good solid run. As long as he runs well we will push forward to The Hunter and if not there’s some nice races for sprinters over the summer.”
Provincial Championships winner Through The Cracks did quite well in the paddock, according to Davies, after his barnstorming win back in April.
So much so Davies has given him two trials and still says the run on Saturday will bring him on significantly.
“He’s very well but he’s probably going to need the run,’’ she said.
Through The Cracks would probably be on the borderline of gaining a start in The Hunter, unless he was able to win first-up, and Davies said he’ll be nominated for a Benchmark 88 at the same program.
She’s adamant there’s a decent win in the lightly raced six-year-old this preparation.
“We’ve looked at The Hunter, I don’t know if he will get a run in that race but it’s Newcastle and he loves the track,’’ she said.
“It might be a little out of his depth but let’s hope he can keep taking that next step.
“I’d love to find a 1400m Listed race some time in the next five or six weeks, he's up to that level and I think he would be well placed.”
Inanup was a $17 chance with TAB on Thursday while Through The Cracks was rated $13.