By Ray Hickson
They call it the ‘polo area’ and trainer Clarry Conners is hoping it can spark a return to form from talented mare Girl Tuesday at Rosehill on Saturday.
Conners has been handed the job of rejuvenating the ex-Chris Waller-trained mare by owner John Singleton and many would see that as a hiding to nothing.
Down at the back of the Warwick Farm racecourse is a piece of land known as the polo area and that’s where Conners has been sending Girl Tuesday in an effort to freshen up her mind because he knows the talent is there.
“I’ve just treated her with kid gloves,’’ Conners said.
“I’m trying things differently that Chris might not be doing with the horse, because he has a lot of horses.
“There’s an area down near the 1400m chute called the polo area because they used to play polo there. It’s a nice long walk down and walk back and you do a bit of trot and cantering. Something different.
“She’s been in Chris’s barn at Rosehill for a few years and Flemington for a while but she is out in the open a bit now. It’s just something different, it’s no rocket science.’’
Girl Tuesday has her first run for Conners in the Listed $150,000 KIA Winter Stakes (1400m).
She had a dream start to her career winning her first four starts in the second half of 2018 but then started to mix her form and hasn’t featured in the finish since a Group 2 placing in last year’s Chelmsford Stakes.
This campaign prior to joining Conners, Girl Tuesday raced in stakes company in Sydney and Adelaide, she was quite unlucky in the latter, and was only beaten three lengths at her last run at Caulfield on May 30.
Nash Rawiller takes the ride on Saturday, where she’s a $10 chance, and Conners was pleased with what he saw, and what the jockey reported, in her trial just over a week ago.
“I just said to give her an easy trial because I wanted to run her in eight days,’’ Conners said.
“He was happy with her and said she felt great and just let her work home after the trial was over.
“As long as she’s running home and performs, which I am sure she will, and pulls up okay I will be happy.
“She has performed well and other times she hasn’t had much luck, she’s not a wet tracker so we don’t want any rain.’’
Singleton has given Conners something of a blank canvas to work with, if Girl Tuesday can return to her best in the short term another season will beckon.
Girl Tuesday's trial at Rosehill on July 3
It’d be easy to forget that Conners and Singleton have enjoyed plenty of success over the years so it’s no surprise the experienced Warwick Farm mentor was given a shot at such a valuable mare.
Most famously they won the 2000 Golden Slipper with Belle Du Jour, who blew the start and recovered to win the two-year-old classic, and other big wins included a Victorian Oaks with Dear Demi.
“We’ve had some good wins and some good times,’’ he said.
“It’ll be a bit of a feather in the cap if she could come out and win for me. This might be a bit short of her best though that’s all.’’