Local trainer Theresa Bateup knows her mare Fleeting Stryke deserves another win and she feels her best chance of doing that is to race at Kembla Grange on Thursday. The four-year-old Stryker mare is second-up after running fifth, three lengths behind High Mist, at Royal Randwick on June 23.
Coming back to Provincial class from a good run in Saturday grade at headquarters is the formula Bateup believes will give her mare another race win and she lines up in a Benchmark 68 Handicap (1400m).
“She’s dropping back in grade significantly and I scratched her from Warwick Farm (Wednesday) due to the wide gate and even though she’s got the top weight now at Kembla Grange, she’ll appreciate an easier race at her home track,” she said.
“We’re trying to get her another win and a lift in confidence and she does love the track and distance.”
Bateup thought Fleeting Stryke was going to put in a shocker last start, but the fact she ran behind the likes of Sugar Bella and Smartedge last preparation meant she was always going to acquit herself well.
“She wasn’t appreciating the heavy track last start. At the home turn I thought she was going to run last because she wasn’t going anywhere of getting through the going,” Bateup said. “Once she balanced up and found her feet she really hit the line nicely.”
Fleeting Stryke is carrying 60kg and her trainer feels Melissa Harrison’s runner is the one to beat.
“Mydream is a handy mare and will be hard to beat, but we’ve got barrier one and Rachel King to ride her and she knows her so well so I decided to not put an apprentice on,” she said.
Liffy and Taqueda will battle each other in the last race today, a Class 2 Handicap (1600m): “Liffy is a lovely little mare,” Bateup said.
“I was happy with her run first-up at Newcastle (ninth) because it was hard to make up ground. She’s done everything right since, has won at the track before, and I think second-up to a mile suits her.”
Bateup said Taqueda was her number one pick in the race and she comes off a classy win at Moruya over 1650m on June 29. Bateup expects her to go on with it.
“She’s done a great job this preparation and hasn’t put a foot wrong,” she said. “She’ll go forward an keep grinding away.
“She’s stepping up in grade but it’s a tricky little race to line up because there’s some horses with country form in it who are on the way up. Belfast Bella is one of them and showed a really good turn of foot at Wagga Wagga last time.”