Leading Hawkesbury trainer Scott Singleton has advised punters not to be concerned about a gear change on the fancied Image Neat ($6 on TAB fixed odds) at his home meeting on Thursday.
Singleton has successfully applied to stewards to race the four-year-old, an eye-catching debut second at Hawkesbury on October 8, bandaged on his front legs in the Sydney Polo Club Provincial & Country Maiden Plate (1300m). But he stressed this morning that the move was simply a precautionary measure.
“Image Neat works in boots as he has a tendency to sometimes brush the inside of one of his forelegs halfway up the cannon bone with his other leg,” Singleton explained. “He tapped it the other day when he raced, and I’ve decided to put bandages on him in front as obviously he can’t race in boots.”
Image Neat, a gelded son of Ready’s Image, started at $81 when a strong-finishing second to Meliboea in a 1000m Maiden Handicap on his home track 17 days ago. He had trialled only once leading into his first appearance. Image Neat began awkwardly, but there was plenty to like about the manner in which he hit the line.
Singleton said Image Neat, who races in the same colors as his Hawkesbury Guineas winner Shazee Lee, didn’t arrive at his stables until a late three-year-old: “Apparently, there was a hiccup when he was being broken in, and that’s the reason he hasn’t raced as a two and three-year-old. “He is still learning, but seems to know more about the job since his first start and the 1300m will suit him better.”
Singleton has a relatively light day by his standards at home with only two runners, and also is giving Savona Sunset a good chance in the Daily Press Benchmark 66 Handicap (1800m). Mitchell Bell will ride the stablemates. Savona Sunset, a Roman Emperor four-year-old, has raced only four times and scored on debut on a heavy track at Wyong in August last year.
“She is a big mare and felt the hard tracks, so we gave her a good break,” Singleton said. “Her two runs back have been pleasing, and her third at home at her last start (on October 8) was better than it may have looked on paper. They went slowly and I felt she did a good job. That was 1400m and she is going to appreciate the extra trip tomorrow.”
Singleton, meanwhile, is planning to start Shazee Lee in the $150,000 Listed Lander Toyota Ladies Day Cup (1400m) at Hawkesbury on November 9.
Then a three-year-old filly, Shazee Lee gave her trainer his biggest success when she captured the Group 3 Blacktown Workers Club Hawkesbury Guineas over the same course in April at the Saturday stand alone meeting.
Hawkesbury trainer Garry White will rely on Holt Street (Blake Shinn) against Image Neat tomorrow. He had also accepted with Military Academy (starting at Warwick Farm today) and had declared Shinn as the rider of both horses.
Fellow Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup has made a number of gear changes on Junglized (Christian Reith), who contests the Blacktown Workers Club Benchmark 60 Handicap (1000m). Junglized, who was Widdup’s first winner of his career on Canberra’s Acton track on May 26, will race in a tongue tie and without blinkers.
He has also been gelded since he last raced at Rosehill in early June. Junglized finished fifth to White Moss (a Stakes winner since) in a Warwick Farm barrier trial (810m) on September 22 to prepare him for a resumption.
Widdup withdrew him from a Newcastle engagement last Saturday to keep him for a home track assignment. He is also putting blinkers on Dancers in the Coca Cola Amatil Class 1 Handicap (1400m) against her own sex.
Kris Lees is looking forward to taking his impressive Newcastle debut winner High Power to Hawkesbury for the Arcade Traders Class 1 Handicap (1400m). Brenton Avdulla partners High Power, a three-year-old son of High Chaparral, who began his career by winning a 1200m Maiden Plate on October 7.
Riva Romance, who finished second to him that day, won at Orange nine days later when a short-priced favorite. Lees has been patient with High Power, trialling him twice in May but not racing him as a two-year-old. He then gave him three trials in August and September to fit him for his first-up assignment.
“High Power has trained on really well since his first race,” Lees said. “The 1400m looks ideal, and I’m expecting him to be hard to beat.”
Lees, however, won’t be rushing the youngster to Melbourne for the latter part of the spring carnival, explaining that has come too quick for him. He is also confident another Avdulla mount, Greater Good, will run well in the Sydney Polo Club Provincial & Country Maiden Plate (1300m).
Lees has withdrawn his third Hawkesbury acceptor, Seeblume (Glyn Schofield), from the Coca Cola Amatil Class 1 Handicap (1400m).
Avdulla, the current Hawkesbury premiership pacesetter, has an excellent book of six rides (three of them are favorites and another second favorite). He also partners Eleazar (XI FIP World Polo Championship Maiden, 1000m) for Team Hawkes, Metamorphic (Nestle Maiden, 1300m) and Sansa (Lion Maiden Plate, 1500m) for Chris Waller, and Organza (Coca Cola Amatil F&M Class 1, 1400m) for James Cummings.
Metamorphic, placed at all four starts (three of them in town), resumes as a gelding. He hasn’t started since finishing third as an odds-on favorite on the Beaumont track in late July.
The rail is in the TRUE position for tomorrow’s meeting, and a “Soft 6” rating was posted early this morning. The penetrometer reading was 5.22. Hawkesbury has received 41mm of rain (none in the last 24 hours) in the past week, and 8mm of irrigation (again none in the last 24 hours) has been put on the track.
SELECTIONS RACE 1: ELEAZAR, Billy Can, Oleksandra. RACE 2: JUNGLIZED, Shantou, Exaggerate. RACE 3: HIGH POWER, Solar Patch, Red Zephyr. RACE 4: IMAGE NEAT, Kitty’s Own, Holt Street. RACE 5: METAMORPHIC, Jaunty, Extreme Measure. RACE 6: STROME, Sweet Victory, Noble Truth. RACE 7: LORD KINGSLEY, Brilliant Jet, Lifeline Princess. RACE 8: ORGANZA, Dancers, Tutu. SPECIALS: JUNGLIZED, HIGH POWER, IMAGE NEAT