By Ray Hickson
Trainer Jason Coyle is looking to capitalise on You Make Me Smile’s wet track ability in the next couple of months but says how the De Bortoli Wines Handicap (1100m) is run at Rosehill on Saturday will dictate whether a first-up win is possible.
You Make Me Smile’s last four wins have come when leading and with barrier three and 53.5kg Coyle said that will give him the option to be on the speed but he’s wary the gelding’s only first-up win came at his second start and first under his care.
“It looks like there’s plenty of pressure there. He’s not going to be too far away but we’ll leave that to Tommy Berry,’’ Coyle said.
“We brought him back at this time of year because we generally see soft tracks and it looks like this winter we are going to get rain affected surfaces all the way through.
“Although it is a high benchmark race he is at a mark we can work with on a Saturday.
“I want to see him race well, he has won first-up before but he generally puts in a good run and improves off the back of it and sets himself up for a couple of really good runs.’’
His record illustrates that – one from five first-up but three wins from four second-up runs.
At the start of his previous campaign You Make Me Smile started favourite in an 1100m open handicap at Rosehill on a good track and finished fourth to Bon Amis after sitting in the box seat.
Coyle has given the five-year-old, $10 with TAB, two barrier trials and he’s finished second in both with the latest behind Saturday rival Time To Reign.
“Both trials have been good, he’s typically a very good trial horse,’’ he said.
“He’s made himself into a high rating horse with six wins on the board in a limited number starts and it’d be nice to see him step into a higher level.
“Whatever he does off the back of a nice break he is going to improve on and as long as he races well we are happy.’’
The trainer said it’s unlikely he’d target a race like the Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) next month though a comfortable first-up win might put it on the radar.
Stablemate Maui Girl is a horse Coyle believes has been overlooked in the Rosehill Bowling Club Handicap (1800m) on the back of a gritty fourth behind Word For Word two weeks ago.
The mare rode the speed in a three wide position and after being beaten off early in the straight she rallied and was only 3.4 lengths from the winner on the line.
You Make Me Smile runs second in a trial at Warwick Farm on June 16
“I think she was super and I think they might have half missed how well she went given the circumstances,’’ he said.
“I’d like to see the track improve a little more, I’m not sure right in the heavy range is her best surface, but the step up in trip is perfect for her.’’
Coyle is looking for Maui Girl, $13 with TAB, to enjoy a more economical passage on Saturday and wouldn’t be shocked if Nash Rawiller elected to lead.
“Going back to the speed map there is a bit of pressure around her so we will leave it to Nash to figure out where her most comfortable position is early,’’ he said.
“The way she’s won over shorter distances in an ideal world if she could dictate an 1800m she’d be tough to get past.’’