By Julieanne Horsman
Two last start winners are among five promising runners who will fly the flag for Wyong trainer, Kim Waugh on Saturday afternoon.
Hetty Heights is the first out the blocks, resuming in the TAB Handicap over 1200m at Rosehill Gardens.
The 4YO mare has won first up twice before, is suited to the Soft 6 track and will appreciate the cool Winter weather. “Last prep she suffered from heat stress a few times and it really knocked her around,” Waugh said.
“She has bounced back and is very forward.”
7YO gelding Shiraz was unlucky to miss a place in the Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich on 17th June.
He came 6th, just a length behind the winner, but had to work hard to get there.
“He went back and because it was a tight track he ended up covering a lot of ground,” Waugh said.
“He came through the run well though.”
Shiraz gets another shot in one of Saturday’s two features - The Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) and Waugh is confident of a stronger showing.
“I am really happy with and would say he is a good chance,” she said.
Jockey Tim Clark, who has booted home more than 100 winners this season, has the ride on both Shiraz and Hetty Heights. Stable war horse, Oxford Poet resumed as the topweight in the Schweppes Handicap (1100m).
Claiming apprentice, James Inner Jnr, will provide 2kg weight relief but the 6YO gelding will still have to lump 61kg from barrier 11.
“It’s a huge weight but you have to go where you can and there wasn’t really anywhere else for him,” Waugh said.
“He’s a tough old boy who always gives 100% and I still expect him to go well.”
Oxford Poet has won his last two trials easily and has a good first up record.
King Viv rounds out Waugh’s Rosehill contingent in #Theraces Handicap over 1500m.
He’s won three of his last four starts but had his preparation disrupted in May.
“He caught a bug and we had to give him a freshen up,” Waugh said.
“He has fully recovered now and had a good trial over 1000m last week.
“1500m will suit him and in a big field I’d say he is an each way chance.”
Brenton Avdulla has the ride.
Waugh also has a runner at Newcastle on Saturday afternoon.
Last start winner, Ultimate Fantasy, is the favourite in the Altus Traffic Benchmark 65 Handicap.
She takes a slight step up in class but drops 3.5kg including apprentice Jean Van Overmeire’s claim, and will be racing on a Soft 5 over 1600m – the same conditions as her Goulburn win on 19th June.
“Her work is good and she is racing well so with a bit of luck she will be hard to beat,” Waugh said.
The four-year-old mare joined Waugh’s stable in April after Greg Bennett retired from training and since then she has recorded two wins and two seconds from five starts. “She is a lovely relaxed mare who has settled in well and is racing accordingly,” Waugh said.
“We’ve just been going race to race this time as we have been trying to dodge the wet tracks.
“If it does get wet again she will probably go to the paddock.”
Kim Waugh is enjoying another successful season and boasts a win rate of 15.2% and place rate of 43.3%.