Fresh off his best ever season, leading local trainer Scott Singleton is looking to begin the new racing year in winning style at Hawkesbury on Thursday. Singleton has five runners at his home track’s opening 2017-18 fixture and has named Adjective and Concessions as his best chances.
Adjective begins the program in the Hawkesbury Race Club Motel Benchmark 70 Handicap (1000m), and Concessions resumes later in the day in the Three Threes Condiments Class 2 Handicap (1400m). Christian Reith rides the pair.
Singleton has just completed his most successful season, winning nearly $1 million prizemoney for his owners and clinching a breakthrough Group success – and on his home track to boot. His horses earned just over $950,000 and he won the $200,000 Group 3 Blacktown Workers Club Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) in April with the underrated Shazee Lee, a $51 shot.
“She is back in work, and coming along nicely,” a delighted Singleton said this morning. “Jay Ford will ride her in a gallop here in the morning, and then we will trial her at Randwick on Tuesday.”
But first things first: “Adjective is racing well, and I’m sure he will be competitive tomorrow, whilst Concessions is definitely going better this time in work and is ready to run a good race first-up,” Singleton said.
Adjective scored with 62kg at Bathurst three runs back, and was a game second to Eccellere in a Benchmark 67 Handicap (1100m) at Canterbury a week ago at his last start. In between, he finished down the course behind Pick Me Up in a 1200m Benchmark 75 Handicap at Rosehill Gardens on July 15, but his trainer is prepared to overlook that run.
“He’s a tricky horse to place because he is not quite up to Saturday company in town, and he has to carry plenty of weight in lesser class races,” Singleton said. “All the same, he didn’t have any luck that day at Rosehill, and I’m giving him a definite chance tomorrow notwithstanding his 61.5kg topweight.”
Singleton is excited about one-time ATC Oaks prospect Concessions’ progress for her Hawkesbury resumption. He had hoped to get her to the Group 1 Oaks (2400m) at Randwick in April, but pulled the pin on her autumn campaign after she had finished eighth in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 25. Earlier, Concessions had finished fifth to Dawn Wall in the Group 3 Kembla Grange Classic (1600m) on March 10.
“I tipped her out because the tracks were so heavy, and I’m really happy with how she is progressing since coming back,” Singleton said. “She is a bit stronger, and has done plenty of work. She is galloping like a mare capable of winning in town. It’s not an easy race tomorrow by any means, but she is ready to run well.” Concessions’ two wins last season were both on her home track, over 1600m and 1800m.
Singleton’s other Hawkesbury representatives are Madam Juror (Hawkesbury Gazette and Courier Maiden Plate, 1300m), and Jay ‘N’ Ava and Triksing, who both contest the Clarendon Tavern Maiden Handicap (1500m). Jess Taylor partners Madam Juror, Ford rides Jay ‘N’ Ava and Reith has the Triksing mount.
Singleton was again the most successful trainer on his home track last season, winning nine races and finishing third in the premiership to co-trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott (17) and Chris Waller (12).
The successful premiership team has three runners tomorrow, including debutantes Antonio’s Pride (Hawkesbury Gazette and Courier Maiden, 1300m) and Social Element (Clarendon Tavern Maiden, 1500m), who will both race in blinkers. Adam Hyeronimus rides the pair.
Stablemate Poldark will race in a tongue tie in the Hawkesbury Living Cancer Trust Benchmark 63 Handicap (1800m). He will be partnered by Josh Parr, who rode 12 winners at Hawkesbury last season and was runner-up to Tye Angland (15) in the jockeys’ premiership.
The rail is 3m out from the 1300m to the winning post, and in the TRUE position for the remainder of the course. Hawkesbury has received 8mm of rain in the last seven days, and 10mm of irrigation has been put on the track in the same period. A “Soft 6” rating was issued this morning, with a penetrometer reading of 5.11.
SELECTIONS RACE 1: GOLDFINCH, Florid, Cockles. RACE 2: TEXAS TYCOON, Albumin, Dynamic Bid. RACE 3: SAHARA EMAAR, Antonio’s Pride, Our Dilemma. RACE 4: PHABERI, Lightz, And So It Goes. RACE 5: ULTRAMAN, She’s Demanding, Chilli Beauty. RACE 6: SACRED EDGE, Char Char, Diamond Afire. RACE 7: BOMBARDIER, Our Anniversaire, Princess Freya. RACE 8: LETTER TO JULIETTE, Labrooke, Mount Omei. SPECIALS: ULTRAMAN, SACRED EDGE, BOMBARDIER