By Ray Hickson
Trainer Matthew Dale concedes there’s a chance his promising mare Sausedge could be unlucky at Randwick on Saturday but isn’t prepared to change too much up at this stage.
If that sounds weird, Dale says the four-year-old is a horse that “likes what she likes’’ at the moment and just hopes that doesn’t work against her in the Daily Press Handicap (1500m).
Sausedge has built an impressive record of five wins from eight starts and Dale is quietly confident she will measure up to her toughest task to date with a clear shot at them.
“A big field, inside gate, we’ll ride her with cover and she will need an element of luck,’’ Dale said.
“So far she’s been at her best when she can get out and get a bit of room, she likes to build momentum and get down the centre.’’
That style was evident in her booming last start win at Canberra over 1400m.
Dale has taken Sausedge along quietly, she ran third behind Noble Boy in a Highway at just her third start and was tried in the Listed Canberra Guineas, running a solid fifth, earlier this year.
This preparation was interrupted by Sausedge missing out on a planned Highway run which forced Dale to run her second-up over 1200m before winning the Tony Campbell Cup.
“She’s been one we’ve always marked with a bit of ability,’’ Dale said.
“She’s built a good profile in the country races and she’s at the stage where she has to go to town and then see where she sits.
“Up to 1400m she got a really good tempo and we saw the best of her. I thought she could win but I didn’t think like that.
“She’s a mare we’ve thought would get better with time and I still believe that going forward.’’
In an open TAB market, Sausedge was a $7.50 chance on Friday.
Dale believes she is capable of winning on Saturday if the breaks go her way and said she’ll likely have one more start this campaign before being put away for the autumn.
“If she happens to win I’d probably look at finishing her prep by giving her a trip to Melbourne for something to season her up a bit,’’ he said.
“It’s a decent jump in grade and we’ll see how she performs.’’
Dale said stablemate Super Star Bob will be scratched from Randwick while he’s keeping his expectations low for Man Of Peace’s return in the Kogaroo Handicap (1200m), if he gains a start.
Sausedge wins at Canberra on October 11
Man Of Peace ($17) hasn’t raced since last December and does have a win over the Randwick 1200m from just over a year ago but Dale said he’ll likely need the run.
“He’s been off the scene for some time and will take a couple of runs to get back rock solid fit,’’ he said.
“He’s had a jump out and a trial and he’s fit enough to go back to the races but I’d imagine he’ll need a couple to be ready for Saturday grade.’’
Meanwhile, Dale’s Kosciuszko runner Notation is headed for a spell and will be set for the mares black type features in the autumn though her home track National Sprint (1400m) is likely to be on the radar.