By Ray Hickson
Jockey Jay Ford says he has every reason to be confident in-form stayer Tamarack can continue his rich vein of form at Rosehill on Saturday.
It might seem that Tamarack faces plenty of negatives in the ATC Tipping Competition Handicap (2400m) but Ford says he’s earned his 60kg impost, will appreciate a good tempo and a full field and is in career best form.
The gelding beat three others in a higher benchmark race over the same course on November 17, including one of his main rivals The Bandit who went to Randwick five days later and won.
“The other day he beat a small field but I thought it was a good reward for a horse that's raced very consistently this preparation,’’ Ford said.
“He deserves the weight, at the 2400m he's really come into his own so I'm expecting the same again from him.’’
Ford has ridden Tamarack in three of his five wins to date and the gelding has already proven himself a good weight carrier, he's won under 60kg and carried 61.5kg to a close third behind High Bridge earlier this preparation.
In the small field two weeks ago Tamarack was able to produce a last 600m sprint of 33.80 (Punters Intel) despite not being a noted ‘sit and sprint’ horse.
His past three starts have been over the 2400m trip for two wins and a third and Ford said he welcomes the presence of up to 11 rivals and a designated leader in Saturday’s race.
“In Tamarack's case he's better off in a bigger field,’’ he said.
“He's usually more a dour stayer, has good stamina and wants a staying test. He quickened quite well off a moderate tempo in a small field but I feel he's more adept in a bigger field.’’
Tamarack is a $5 chance with TAB behind The Bandit ($4) who he meets only 1.5kg worse for beating him by over three lengths.
Ford has a full book of nine rides at Rosehill and rated Tamarack as his best winning chance, he rides Kingsguard in the Group 3 Festival Stakes and Magic Alibi, who he rates a good chance, in the Listed Starlight Stakes.
Tamrack's easy win at Rosehill on November 17
Staying warhorse Destiny’s Kiss steps out for his 91st start in the Listed $140,000 ATC Cup (2000m) and Ford said he’s happy to see fewer rivals for the 10-year-old backmarker.
Destiny’s Kiss, the outsider in the six horse field at $10, hasn’t raced for six weeks since running third in the Tatt’s Cup (2400m) on October 20.
“I think 2000m these days is a little short of his best but on a soft track it brings him into calculations,’’ Ford said.
“The smallish field suits him too. Usually I'd say he might need a run until he gets to 2400m but it wouldn't surprise me if he pops up.
“You can never write him off, he's an old marvel.’’
Ford on Oria (race 2, $7): “Her first trial was plain to be fair but the second was a lot better. She's shown in her trials that she's lost a bit of her early toe so it'll be interesting to see how that represents under race conditions.
“I think this will be short of her best, but I expect her to be strong late.’’
Ford on Revitup Rednut (race 3, $15): “We came out very awkwardly the other day, we were going to ride on pace but that went out the window when she came out sideways. If we can get away on terms we'll give a good positive ride and put ourselves right on the pace.’’