By Ray Hickson
It’s been something of a watershed campaign for Mo’s Crown and trainer Jason Coyle says regardless of the result at Rosehill on Saturday he’s confident the best will be seen of the consistent galloper from next season.
Coyle said the decision to geld Mo’s Crown has already proven successful with three wins, including his first city success, from seven starts this year.
Back-to-back wins in town in the Rosehill Bowling Club Handicap (1200m) would be icing on the cake though Coyle says in defeat Mo’s Crown has shown his potential as much as in his wins.
“The objective this preparation was to see where he could get to, to come through his grades, but I think there’s still a bit of figuring out for him,’’ Coyle said.
“He was tested in stakes company a couple of times and was far from disgraced.
“He’s getting to the end of his preparation so hopefully he learns a bit more with this run and we can start with a clean slate next time.
“If he can improve in another preparation and can start doing more things right than wrong we’ll have a handy horse on our hands.’’
Mo’s Crown, $3.10 favourite with TAB, led all the way to win over the Rosehill 1200m two weeks ago but Coyle said there was plenty of room for improvement.
It was clear the horse wasn’t overly happy in front, he raced keenly, but was still able to get away with a comfortable 1-1/2 length margin.
Coyle said it won’t be in his plan to lead on Saturday but he also won’t be saddling James McDonald with instructions.
“We had no intention to be in front and James was a bit shocked himself when he found himself there,’’ he said.
“It probably helped on that day given it suited on pace runners that day but the higher you go in grade the less mistakes you can make.
“I’m not going to go out with plan, James has been on his back and knows how he reacted with the blinkers. He’s drawn a similar gate and we’ll bounce him out of the gates.
“I think James is a good enough rider to figure out what’s going on around him in the first 100m.”
Stablemate Maui Girl is a $16 chance with TAB but could be a sharp improver in the Yes Yes Yes New To Coolmore Handicap (1500m) with a better set up than into her last start failure as favourite at Canterbury.
She’d won impressively in her first two starts for Coyle and the trainer lays the blame squarely on himself.
“I think the biggest excuse was me giving her 10 days between runs after two big efforts on heavy tracks,’’ he said.
“I think we went back to the well too quickly and she went nothing like how she did at the provincials. You’ll see a much better mare on Saturday.
“Obviously it’s a step up in grade for her but she’s shown the quality to suggest she can make this grade at some stage.’’
Mo's Crown wins at Rosehill on May 30
Meanwhile Coyle has sent stakes placed fillies St Covet’s Spirit and Air To Air for a break and is hopeful next season sees them realise their potential.
St Covet’s Spirit has only won one from 13 so far but was placed in the Group 3 James Carr and Hawkesbury Guineas through the carinval while Air To Air graduated from a maiden win to chase home Dawn Passage in the Scone Guineas.
“She did a good job, she’s another Uncle Mo and is quite quirky in her races and works against herself more than you’d like making it, as her record suggests, difficult to win races,’’ Coyle said of St Covet’s Spirit.
“Once it all comes together I think there is a nice win in her.
“I think Air To Air has a bit of class about her. At this stage she is only the winner of a 1600m maiden but she will end up in better races than a Class 1.’’