By Ray Hickson
It’s a good thing Jason Collett paid particular attention to the recent barrier trials by promising two-year-olds Mallory and Construct because he’s in charge of their destinies at Rosehill on Saturday.
Collett didn’t partner either at the trials but couldn’t have been happier with what he saw from afar as Mallory cruised around Rosehill behind Ashema on January 15 then four days later at Gosford when Construct ran second to Bojack.
Mallory, on the back of her debut second to boom filly Enthaar in the Gimcrack, holds sway with TAB at $2.30 in the Group 3 $160,000 Widden Stakes (1100m) while Breeders’ Plate runner-up Construct was $3.20 favourite on Friday as he resumes in the Group 3 $160,000 Canonbury Stakes (1100m).
What Collett saw in the Gimcrack, where he rode Mallory, was a filly with some race smarts and the ability to absorb pressure as she chased home Enthaar who most regard as the benchmark two-year-old for the season to date.
“She was beaten by a pretty smart filly but her performance that day was good,’’ Collett said.
“She had to navigate a path through them and for a two-year-old to do that it showed she is a racehorse.
“She coped with a tight, stressful, run at her first start so anything less than that is going to be better for her. I liked her trial the other day, I had a good look at her behind the gates and I was happy with her.”
Collett hopes to be able to take advantage of barrier two in the smaller field than what Mallory was faced with on debut.
“She has a nice gate, you’d like to think she gets a good run from there,’’ he said.
“I don’t know where she will be position wise but having that run under her belt is a huge asset.”
Construct chased home recent Magic Millions winner Shaquero in the Breeders’ Plate and Collett said it’ll be interesting to see if he has taken the next step this preparation.
He ran a 33.61 last 600m, 0.02 outside the race's best, and showed a turn of foot running the fastest 400m-200m in 10.93 (Punter's Intelligence).
“I haven’t had a chance to sit on him yet but the way he attacked the line in the Breeders was good,’’ he said.
“I was at Gosford for the trials and I watched his heat, he caught my eye that day so I’m quite happy to be on him.”
Mallory runs second in the Gimcrack Stakes in October
Classy mare Emeralds kicks off her autumn campaign in the Group 2 $200,000 Iron Jack Expressway Stakes (1200m) and Collett has been rapt with her recent trials and how she is progressing.
She’s the outsider of the field at $34 with TAB and isn’t expected to get over the top of the likes of Savatiano and Ole Kirk but the jockey wants to see a positive return.
“We gave her a quiet first trial, didn’t want to do much on her, then the second trial she was a lot fitter but with improvement to come,’’ he said.
“I think she is coming up really nicely. It’s a nice starting point, there will be give in the ground which will benefit her. I’m not going out there expecting to win but I’d like to see a good performance.”