By Ray Hickson
Trainer Tracey Bartley admits he’s probably taking the easier option with In Good Time at Rosehill on Saturday but he’s made a habit of placing her where she can win.
An unbeaten first six starts, culminating in a Listed victory at Scone, is testament to that and after a character building Melbourne spring preparation he said the Maurice Rolfe Handicap (1100m) is the right race.
Bartley also admits he’s dodging Bon Amis and would prefer to take on the mares in a benchmark 78 with 59kg for her first-up run.
“I think if he went around in the Takeover Target I’d have run her in the open, I just don’t think she couldn’ve beaten him,’’ he said.
“She’s prepped up well, 59kg is all right for a mare that has won a stakes race and hopefully she can win.’’
The form guide says In Good Time hasn’t appeared since she ran last in a Group 3 race at Flemington back on November 6, that followed a Listed placing at Geelong.
Bartley also revealed In Good Time had a minor knee issue down south that probably goes some way to explaining her last start failure.
In Good Time wins the Denise's Joy at Scone in May
He confirmed the four-year-old is in good shape and has competed in an unofficial trial at Wyong early last week and has some residual fitness from the short break between campaigns.
“It was a perfect trial for her, there was four in it and she trialled just like you’d like them to,’’ he said.
“She needed racing in that company in Melbourne to make her lift up a bit.
“She’s perfectly placed really. She’ll get a nice run, she should be parked third or fourth the fence and wait and hopefully have the last crack at them.’’
In Good Time was a $6 chance with TAB on Friday.
Bartley said a win, or close enough to one, would see the mare quickly return to stakes company with the Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 9 a likely next step.
“We’re hoping she might be fitter than some of them early, that’s what we are banking on,’’ he said.
Brock Ryan rides In Good Time and Bartley praised the apprentice for his initiative on board Ever So Natural in the seven-year-old return to form with a last start third behind Easy Eddie at Randwick.
Ryan made a mid-race move on the gelding and while he was never going to beat Easy Eddie the trainer said it sparked him up noticeably.
Ever So Natural will have Robbie Dolan on board in the Eric ‘Mo’ Conlon Handicap (1200m) and Bartley believes he’s a better chance than the $23 with TAB would suggest.
“He’s found the right race, it’s a lovely race for him. His run the other day says he’s ready now,’’ he said.
“I galloped him with In Good Time on Tuesday morning, it was really good work. He gets a nice run where he needs to be in fourth or fifth.’’
Bartley’s Provincial Championships contender Miss Redoble has been freshened up since posting her fourth win at Hawkesbury a month ago and will trial prior to the trainer selecting a Qualifier.
The first of five Qualifiers comes up on February 24 at Hawkesbury.