By Ray Hickson
Trainer John Sargent doesn’t fear taking on older horses with three-year-old filly Havin’ Fun at Canterbury on Wednesday as he looks for a pointer to her immediate future.
With just three runs under her belt Havin’ Fun will tackle horses as old as seven, and with plenty more experience than her, and Sargent says her performance in the Pluck @ Vinery Handicap (1250m) will tell him plenty.
“I just want to get a line on her and see whether we step back to Saturday grade,’’ he said.
“And that’s probably easier than going up against them on Saturday.
“She seems a very promising filly, I’m trying to work out whether she is a sprinter and we’ll know more on Wednesday.’’
Havin’ Fun was placed on debut back in June then posted her maiden win at Canterbury on July 3 before finishing a respectable fourth behind Excellent Proposal at Randwick up to 1400m.
Alongside her in the finish that day was Mandela and Sargent said that’s a handy form reference.
Havin' Fun runs fourth at Randwick on July 20
She’ll carry 53.5kg with jockey Brenton Avdulla allowed 0.5kg over and a win could encourage Sargent have a throw at the stumps in a stakes race. Havin' Fun was a $5 chance with TAB on Tuesday.
“I think she might be a bit better back in distance, it was a nice effort without getting up and winning,’’ he said.
“I think this is a nice race for her at the weights.
“If they want to look for black type we’ll go for that and that’s probably enough for her first campaign.’’
Stablemate Avalaunche let Sargent down with his fourth placing at Wyong at his third start and signalled a change of tactics for the Territories @ Darley Handicap (1580m) where he's an outsider at $34.
The gelding led when jumping from 1000m to 1350m last start but faded so jockey Sam Clipperton will be asked to be a lot more conservative this time around.
“He was disappointing last start so we’re going to be riding him cold. It was a bit upside down so we won’t be doing that again,’’ he said.
“I’d expect him to get over a mile and half so we’ll ride him cold and hopefully he will be getting home.’’
Classy filly Crystal Falls, who finished midfield in both the Sires’ and Champagne in the autumn, will have her second trial next week and Sargent said she is likely to kick off in the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 24.