By Ray Hickson
Trainer Adam Duggan says he’s not in the habit of finding out how good a horse is by throwing them in the deep end too soon but promising mare Miss Fox has earned the right to be tested at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
The four-year-old has won four of her five starts, two at Taree and one each at Gosford and Wyong, so heading to town is a natural progression.
Duggan said the Hyland Race Colours Handicap (1100m) has some depth to it, almost like a Saturday race, but that means the focus isn’t all on Miss Fox to extend her winning streak.
“I like to take my horses along quietly and through their grades if I can, I think she has earned her shot at town,’’ he said.
“I probably would have liked to have hit a midweek race six or eight weeks ago, at this time in the early part of the spring is where the races get a bit stronger.
“There comes a time when you have to take on the better class horses. But it probably just takes that bit of pressure off running in a stronger race, although she has this fantastic record she has been expected to win at just about all her starts.”
Miss Fox, $4.60 with TAB, resumed with a popular win at Wyong on August 30 where she lumped 60.5kg to a length win over the 1000m.
Miss Fox wins at Wyong on August 30
Tim Clark rode her in that race and Duggan said Ashley Morgan has been instrumental behind the scenes, in addition to riding her to three wins, including completing her final gallop last weekend.
But with the rise in class Duggan said he was keen to reduce the mare’s burden so booked in-form apprentice Louise Day to bring Miss Fox in with 56kg on Wednesday.
“I was pre-empting this race being quite strong, I’d noticed over the past few weeks these benchmark 72 1100m have been strong, by claiming,’’ he said.
“I thought we might try to get a bit of an edge by claiming. Louise is riding as well as anyone.
“She’s not a particularly hard horse to ride, she begins well and actually wants to switch off a bit in her races which is nice.”
Duggan trained Miss Fox’s mother, Snitzel mare Fox, who showed her share of talent being placed in a Gosford Guineas in 2012 but had her career cut short through injury.
He expects Miss Fox to settle just off the speed on Wednesday but notes she does have the required pace to take up a forward position if needed.
“She doesn’t have lightning speed, she’s quick enough, and I’ve always noted she has that good habit of wanting to settle after she gets going which hopefully says she’ll run 1200m,’’ he said.
“I’d say she’ll have horses to run down here so it’ll be interesting to see how she copes with it. She has as much desire to win as any horse I’ve had.”