By Ray Hickson
You can’t blame a trainer for have a shot at stakes company with a horse that shows talent and Jason Coyle has done that five times so far in Mo’s Crown’s career.
He’s been unplaced at each attempt but on the back of the gelding’s impressive second-up win Coyle said there’s a good chance he will still develop into a horse capable of winning black type.
The four-year-old, a winner of five of his 15 starts, will move a step closer if he can take out the Members Christmas Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday because if he does win he’ll have overcome a wide gate at a tricky start point and a drop in distance.
“It can get stereotypical when you put sires in brackets but Uncle Mo seems to have those horses that can be a bit wayward and take a bit of time, can be frustrating, but then start to win races,’’ Coyle said.
“He seems to be falling into that bracket maybe with a bit more ability than others.
“It sucks that he’s drawn 10, at the 1100m there’s always going to be more pressure than at 1200m.
“I’ll have to have a closer look at the race. Once you get up to a benchmark 80 your options start to get limited.”
Mo’s Crown resumed with a midfield finish at Rosehill on a heavy track on October 31, somewhat disappointing Coyle, then rebounded with a dominant win at Kembla Grange’s Gong meeting.
On that occasion, as an $8.50 chance which is the same price he was on Thursday, he sat off the speed set by Big Parade and dashed straight past the leader and on to a comfortable win.
“There’s still some improvement, I don’t think he was wound right up although he took more improvement off that first-up run on a heavy track than I anticipated,’’ Coyle said.
“James (McDonald) said he’d had enough on the line.
“I would expect and hope there’s at least a little bit more improvement there and if that’s the case it holds us in good stead for the preparation.”
Tim Clark takes the ride and Coyle said the horse will control his own destiny.
"We’ll ride him how he jumps, if he jumps well and gets across easily that’s terrific but there’s more work to do from that gate than there was the other day,’’ he said.
Coyle is adamant that if St Covet’s Spirit can break through to notch her second career win she’ll likely pick up a couple but concedes she has her work cut out on paper in the Quincy Seltzer Handicap (1350m).
The mare has been stakes placed twice yet has just the one win from 14 starts and Coyle was desperate to draw well second-up on the back of a pleasing return, when fifth beaten 1.8 lengths by Bring The Ransom, at Newcastle three weeks ago.
“She’s already earned the prizemoney of a horse that has already got three or four wins on the board and have come through the grades,’’ he said.
“Because we’ve tested her at the higher level she’s already at the $150,000 mark and is stakes placed.
“If she can knock over those extra couple of races and force that benchmark up with those wins on the board she probably starts to become a serious autumn horse again.”
The trainer admitted he was tempted just to scratch St Covet’s Spirit, $14 with TAB, when he saw 16 against her name but is holding fire to see what unfolds prior to scratching time on Saturday morning.
Mo's Crown wins at Kembla Grange on November 21
“The only reason she’s still in the field is because we have a field limit of 13 a lot is going to change come Saturday morning,’’ he said.
“What looks horrible on paper with five emergencies still there might not look so bad.
“I would love to draw a gate because with the step up in journey all of a sudden I think we don’t have to get back as far. The barrier throws that out.”
Maui Girl makes her return in the Rosehill Bowling Club Handicap (1200m) just five days after trialling, an exercise that basically replaced a final gallop.
Coyle is convinced he misread the mare and will restrict her to a mile this time around and while he’s rapt with how she’s come up still suspects the trip might be a bit short despite boasting an unbeaten first-up record.
“I thought her trial was very good but 1200m is a bit sharp for her given she’s never started over it in her life,’’ he said.
“I probably made a few errors at the end of last preparation, I think we went a little too far and I think she might be a miler.”