By Ray Hickson
Jockey Jason Collett is keen to capitalise on the much needed momentum boost he’s had in the past week and is bullish about Miss Einstein repaying the punters when she backs up at Rosehill on Saturday.
Collett’s double at Randwick last week and his winner at Canterbury on Wednesday were his first successes in May and during what you’d call a character building time it has drummed home the need to consistently produce his best.
That’s not easy when you could argue there’s no downtime at the moment as the COVID19 restrictions have meant there's still a carnival like collection of riders, and opportunities are fewer, and that makes every race like a Group race.
“There’s less mistakes made by the riders we’re riding against and I would say it makes you want to improve,’’ Collett said.
“It’s a game of inches in the city and you need to improve, find that extra five per cent that are the difference in these races.’’
Miss Einstein was just about everybody’s best bet when she went around as a $2.70 favourite at Randwick last Saturday only to be beaten into second place by Opacity.
Collett said the run was excellent under the circumstances and expects when she lines up in the TAB Long May We Play Handicap (1400m) we’ll see a different side to the mare now she’s drawn a barrier that can be used to her advantage.
And Collett plans to take it.
“We probably won’t lead but she will race handy, the fact is she won’t be giving a head start like last week and the start before that,’’ he said.
“It makes the job easier that’s for sure.
“She travelled too well last week on a slow tempo and that’s where if she had a barrier it would have made a difference.’’
It’s worth noting that Miss Einstein’s past six barrier draws have been 11 of 12, 10 of 11, 7 of 8, 9 of 14, 8 of 9 and last start 7 of 9.
The four-year-old is $3.70 favourite with TAB and while it’s the first time she’s backed up in seven days Collett said she’s cherry ripe to break through.
“She needed that first-up run, she came into the prep off one soft trial, and even late in the race second-up when she got cut out she didn’t have a lot left,’’ he said.
“Last week she was spot on but just gave them too big a start.
“As she’s got out to a more suitable trip she’s drawn out and that’s meant she’s had to go back, while she’s back to the 1400m she will race handier.”
Travancore will likely be conceding a start, as he often does, in the Schweppes Handicap (1500m) but Collett believes he’s in for a very good winter preparation.
The gelding, $10 with TAB, has had four weeks since his last start third at Kensington on May 2 and that’s been by design from trainer Clare Cunningham.
“I feel like he’s back on track after last start. We put the hood on him and he improved,’’ Collett said.
Miss Einstein runs second at Randwick on May 23
“Prior to that we tried to stretch him out over 2000m but he didn’t see it out.
“There are quite a few races through the winter that will suit him and that’s why he’s had a bit of a gap between runs.’’
Collett will be watching on from the jockeys room as Noble Boy has his second run for Cunningham in the Trapeze Artist @ Widden Handicap (1200m) but said he couldn’t have expected a lot more from his first run for the stable.
Louise Day will take 3kg off the 2019 Country Championship winner’s 62kg, he's $5.50 second favourite behind Fituese, and his unbeaten record in the wet says he’ll appreciate a forgiving track.
The gelding ran 32.69 (Punter's Intelligence) for his last 600m when he resumed running sixth in the Listed Ortensia Stakes (1100m) two weeks ago and Collett said under the circumstances it was a promising effort.
“We were happy with the run, with the sectionals they ran it was impossible to make the ground,’’ he said.
“By the time we got to his race the track had well and truly firmed up and it was hard to make up ground. But with a soft track, 1200m helps, and back in grade he ticks a lot of boxes.”