By Doug Ryan
Three-year-old filly On My Terms can further improve local trainer Matthew Robinson’s impressive winning strike rate at Taree Wingham Race Club’s big nine-race TAB meeting on Saturday.
In the past month he has had wins with Mosgiel Ruby (two), Dubai Sights and Sprite Zah when most trainers have been searching for starts for their charges due to meetings being abandoned due to the wet weather.
“I have had a pretty good trot,” Robinson said. “Those not winning have mainly been placing.”
His luck was emphasised at Krambach Race Club’s TAB meeting at Taree on March 15 where Sprite Zah had a win in one of the only two races held before the rain and visibility had the meeting called off.
Robinson not only picked up valuable prizemoney but being the first Taree trainer to have a winner at the Krambach meeting, the club gave him a $500 bonus which had not been claimed when it was offered at the club’s previous meeting.
On My Terms is among a strong field of gallopers in the Saxby’s Flavoured Soft Drinks Benchmark 55 Handicap over 1000m.
In only eight starts the filly won over 1005m at Taree on 28 November, and has been runner-up on three occasions.
The filly, by Dubai’s Choice out of his mare Dream Themes, was bred by Robinson and is raced by himself, his partner Misty Travis, her mother Amber, her uncle Clinton Travis, and Pat Robinson.
“It is a real family horse…it gives us plenty of satisfaction,” the trainer said after On My Terms won its maiden by 2.25 lengths.
It was beaten before that run by Hammoon Dream and it has won in Sydney since to frank the form.
The filly has had two runs since its win and there were excuses for its fourth behind Painted Lady over 1000m at Tamworth at its last start on 14 March.
“She slipped when the starting gates were opened,” Robinson said. “She was last on settling and it was a good run under the circumstances. If she hadn’t lost just over two lengths, she would have been in the finish.”
Port Macquarie apprentice jockey Jesse Graham takes a 2kg claim on the filly and Robinson reckons she handles wet tracks. In the same race local mare Groomaze, trained by Michael Byers, may have been given to him for nothing but she has certainly paid her way since with a string of wins and placings, the latest a second at Tuncurry when resuming.
“She just knocked up at Tuncurry but does appreciate wet weather tracks,” he said.
Another mudlark is seven-year-old Kempsey gelding French Command, trained by Hilary Dew, which finished third behind Robinson’s Sprite Zah at the Krambach meeting.
That was its 100th start and took its record to 11 wins and 24 placings for more than $160,000 in prizemoney. Five of the wins and nine of the placings were on wet tracks, although its best is probably over more ground.
A big query is resuming Warwick Farm four-year-old gelding Zooming, trained by Gregory Hickman, who has had success with gallopers here in the past year.
Zooming has a win and two placings in six starts and on 21 March was a close second to Divergence in a trial in heavy ground at Randwick.
Another with heavy track form is Assergi, trained at Newcastle by Paul Perry, which won by 1.3 lengths in those conditions over 1100m at Armidale on 20 March.
Kempsey trainer Barry Ratcliff only had five-year-old gelding All The Aces for three weeks when it scored over 1250m in soft ground at his home track on 3 March and it lines up against Taree filly Valbeata, trained by Bob Milligan, in the Saxby’s Drury Distribution Class 2 Handicap over 1250m.
He paid $2500 for the former Warwick Farm-trained galloper and grabbed $11,200 shortly after with the win.
“I have missed three meetings with him through cancellations since,” Ratcliff said.
Doug’s Best Bets On a hard day due to the wet weather and differing form traits, I have gone for Valbeata (Race 7, horse 5) and each-way On My Terms (Race 9, horse 12) as the best hopes.