By Ray Hickson
Wide barrier and top weight - it’s not an ideal scenario to kick off the preparation of promising filly Lashes at Wyong on Thursday.
But rather than shy away from the challenge trainer Matt Smith says if Lashes is good enough to overcome it then she’s as talented as he thinks she is.
The three-year-old does have good early speed in her favour and that gives her a fighting chance in the Central Coast Bulldogs Masters Handicap (1100m).
“Barriers are everything especially on those tight turning tracks and she is a fast horse and makes her own luck but barriers make a difference,’’ Smith said.
“She's a smart filly and she's probably better off drawn a little out so she's out of trouble.
“When you're in the lower grades it's easier to overcome the gates. Whatever happens she will have to be good to win that.’’
Lashes hasn’t raced since she easily accounted for a Class 1 field at Hawkesbury back in February, she has form around Vegadaze and a win over the smart Kylease to her name as well.
Lashes wins a trial at Randwick on June 14
She was due to resume more than a month ago but Smith wasn’t happy with her following her first trial. He allowed some more time and reports she’s spot on.
The form around her tells Smith she’s above average but the barrier, 59.5kg and the presence of a highly promising type in Sir Elton, from barrier one, has her second in TAB’s market at $3.00.
The Wyong 1100m start offers a reasonable straight run to the first turn, considering once you reach that turn it is all corners, which will aid Lashes’ cause.
“Whatever way you want to look at it from wide barriers it's tough,’’ he said.
“Some tracks play better to horses drawn wide because there's no urgency to get there.
“It's still hard to win but if she can win a race like this we'll think we have a pretty good one on our hands.’’
Stablemate Tell No Tales ($5.50) is aiming to go one better than her first-up second in the Blitz Homes Plate (1000m).
While she was run down by Magic Town over the same course on June 6, Smith said the run was pleasing as it was the first sign of form she’d shown since her debut placing to Estijaab 18 months ago.
“She was a bit on the fresh side and she'll be a bit fitter. She hasn't gone backwards from her first run,’’ he said.
“We had a few little issues on and off and we seem to have her right now. If she was to improve off that run she'll be right in there.’’