By Tony Megahey
The booking of an airborne Hugh Bowman and a drop in grade are the crucial factors for expensive discard Seeblume into a Class 2, $75,000 TAB Highway Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Passed on from unsuccessful early campaigns for Kris Lees and James Cummings, Seeblume, a $240,000 yearling purchase by Sebring, has finally joined the Canberra stables of rising young trainer Joe Ible to resurrect her career.
While Seeblume failed to measure up to city grade for high profile previous trainers, the five-year-old mare was still competitive early career at Warwick Farm, Newcastle and Wyong.
And from her 12 race starts offered enough ability to win two Provincial races and be placed twice.
Ible, who has been educated by the best, has placed her ideally back to a Class 2 for Country gallopers where she is allocated 58kg and drawn perfectly for the jockey still thriving amidst the euphoria of the incomparable Winx.
Ible, who formerly trained a small team at Moruya, has been established for three seasons in the ACT by his father Darrell, a former trainer and now a respected bloodstock agent.
Previously, young Joe gained invaluable experience working for Gai Waterhouse, the prestige Cambridge Stud in New Zealand, SA’s leading mentor Phillip Stokes and the late Shoalhaven ace, Bede Murray.
Ible has trained Seeblume for only a handful of starts and the signs have been positive enough in tougher grade. She won first-up for Joe in slick time at Nowra in February and then was beaten less than three lengths by dual city-winning mare Mandylion in the Kembla leg of the Provincial Championships in March. Subsequently, Seeblume resumed ran fifth in a Kensington mid-weeker behind the talented Savvan.
“She’s been great for us, the Nowra win was dominant and the city run was really good in better grade because they weren’t making up any ground that day and she closed late, “ Joe enthused.
“She’s fitter second-up, her work has been outstanding since and Hugh has ridden this mare before for her previous trainers. She’s really lightly-framed though.
“Maybe she stressed in the city environment because she’s thrived down here. She certainly came to us without any issues, she’s happy and settled and out to 1500m is ideal with a rider of Hugh’s quality.”
Seeblume is a $12 chance on TAB fixed odds behind race favourites and proven series performers, the Danny Williams-trained My Blue Jeans ($9.50) and Terry Robinson’s Risk and Reward ($3.30 favourite).
Williams is in form and buoyed with stable stars Don’t Give a Damn and Kopi Luwak early confirmations for slot winners into the $1.3 million The Kosciuszko coinciding with the $13 million The Everest at Royal Randwick on October 13.
In particular, My Blue Jeans will be suited out to 1500m and with extra race fitness. And the strongest possible push is that he won running away over this course and distance in June after an impressive Canterbury Park maiden win.
An intriguing acceptor is seven-year-old Albury gelding Footmark, a mudlark trained by Highway first timer, Jodie Bohr, a former jockey. Footmark won by a widening six lengths on a heavy 10 track at Albury last month after a succession of unplaced runs at lengthy odds.
While there is little indication of rain, if the unexpected occurs, Footmark has to enter calculations. However, Rosehill Gardens at presently rated a good 4 with fine weather predicted.