By Ray Hickson
If you could assign an emoji for trainer David Pfieffer’s thoughts on his three Randwick runners it would go something like this.
For in-form sprinter Broken Arrows he’d definitely have a grinning face, last start winner The Party Girl would be the thinking face due to a tempo query and for resuming miler Love Shack Baby he’d have the fingers crossed for a positive first-up run.
When Pfieffer looks at the speed map for the Sky Racing Active Handicap (1000m) he can only smile as it appears the race is tailor made for Broken Arrows to atone for a luckless last start defeat by stablemate Ghostly at Kembla Grange.
The gelding, $4.80 with TAB on Friday, has drawn the outside alley but the Warwick Farm trainer sees that as a plus.
“With an inside gate you don’t have the option to come wide half the time, you need luck with a horse like him,’’ he said.
“Whereas if you get an outside gate all he has to do is come down the outside.’’
Broken Arrows drew an outside alley at Kembla and crossed to the fence behind the field, with the track pattern favouring the inside section jockey Kerrin McEvoy played for luck and didn’t get it until it was too late.
He clocked 32.93 for his last 600m (Punter’s Intelligence), a length faster than the winner and three lengths faster than anything else, but the Randwick 1000m is a different set up.
“We walked away from the race and he should have been the winner,’’ Pfieffer said.
“It was good for connections of Ghostly but I think Broken Arrows’ owners, although they were disappointed to get beaten, could walk off the track knowing they should have won.
“Kerrin says he’s a horse that since that first win (this prep in October) he has just grown in confidence. The faster they go the better chance he is going to be.’’
The thinking face reaction to The Party Girl’s chances in the December Handicap (1400m) is due to the likelihood the speed, or lack of speed on paper, will play against her.
The mare, a $5 chance on Saturday, posted an upset win over 1200m at Rosehill two weeks ago and while he expects her to run well again Pfieffer said he’d be more confident if the speed map read differently.
“It was a bit of a surprise (second-up), I didn’t expect that much speed in the race,’’ he said.
“If there was speed in that race I could have confidently said to the owners she was a good chance because she’d been working well enough.
“It all depends on how quickly they go for her. There doesn’t look like there’s any pace at all but it’s a small field and she doesn't have a bad gate so hopefully she can land in front of a couple.
The Party Girl wins at Rosehill on December 7
“She’s going to appreciate the extra trip, I would have liked a bit of sting out of the ground but we won’t get that, she doesn’t know how to run a bad race and is in good order.’’
The fingers are crossed that Coffs Harbour Cup winner Love Shack Baby can replicate his first-up placing from last prep in the Ranvet Handicap (1200m) and that will tell Pfieffer he’s in for another consistent campaign.
That resumption in June was on a heavy track and he was beaten less than a length but he didn’t finish worse than fourth in six runs in the second half of winter.
“He loves his racing, he never runs a bad race,’’ he said.
“First-up last prep was 1200m at Randwick and he ran third. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar run. He’s an honest horse who is working well and trialling well.’’