By Ray Hickson
Trainer Lee Curtis believes in-form three-year-old Blazing has done more than enough this preparation to earn a shot at proving he’s up to city company at Rosehill on Saturday.
Blazing has won his past two starts in good style at Hawkesbury, sitting on a solid pace and bursting away in the latest, and Curtis says taking out the Next Telecom Handicap (1400m) is well within his powers.
“When I looked through the nominations I thought there was nothing in there I should be really worried about and it gives him a crack at the city BOBs money,’’ Curtis said.
“We’re pretty happy with how he’s going. I thought his last win was pretty good, it was an improvement on his maiden win, and he’s training on well.
“He might have been a bit out of his comfort zone but he accelerated so it was a very good win.’’
Blazing bumped into Sir Elton on debut at Gosford, running third, then found Warfare a shade strong at his second appearance there.
The improvement he’s shown in his last couple shows the approach Curtis has taken with the gelding since he was purchased is paying off.
Blazing wins at Hawkesbury on July 14
“We didn’t pay a lot for him, I just specked him, but he did take a bit of time,’’ he said.
“He was immature as a two-year-old, he always showed he could gallop but needed to constitutionally mature up which he’s done now.
“He’s had plenty of time, we’ve put him out whenever there was any sign of him not being ready.
“I said after his last start if there was any chink in his armour he’d go out but he’s relaxed and happy and seems 100 per cent.’’
Curtis said jockey Kathy O’Hara should settle Blazing, $12 with TAB, in the first four or five in the run on Saturday and from there it’s up to the horse to do the rest.
Meanwhile, classy soon-to-be mare Meryl has come through her barrier trial win last Friday in fine style and will have a second hitout at Rosehill on August 6.
Few people probably noticed Meryl won the trial given all the attention on the Godolphin stars chasing her and Curtis said the decision to skip the autumn may be a blessing.
“She had a really good spring then she came back and she wasn’t right so we missed the autumn,’’ he said.
“I think the spell has done her the world of good. She’s obviously come back really well and we can get excited about the spring.’’
Meryl was a Group 3 winner in Melbourne last spring and Curtis has pencilled in the Group 3 Toy Show (1100m) on August 24 as her first-up assignment.