By Ray Hickson
Trainer Jason Coyle is certain of two things when it comes to last start winner You Make Me Smile – he likes to lead and he likes to get his hooves wet.
The four-year-old will be chasing back-to-back Canterbury wins in the Bowermans Office Furniture Handicap (1200m) though Coyle is wary he won’t have everything tailor made despite just five rivals.
“What jumps out in his form is he does enjoy getting his toe in,’’ Coyle said.
“I’d love a thunderstorm to take the edge off again. The small field suits, he might be able to dictate again and I’m sure he can perform well at the same track and similar distance.’’
You Make Me Smile has won four of his 12 starts and all four wins have come on soft or heavy ground.
Two weeks ago, Kathy O’Hara drove him to the front from an outside gate and he established a break around the bend then coasted to a three length win.
It was a big reversal on his first run as a gelding where he was well supported but didn’t find the lead and beat two home at Randwick on Boxing Day.
“Most of mine improve and maybe he got a bit tired first-up,’’ Coyle said.
“He was able to dictate at Cantebury from the outside gate which probably helped him a bit. He dropped in grade and got the edge off the track so that ticked all the boxes I thought.
“Whenever an on pace horse is able to do their own thing they are better for it. When he was a colt and he was headed he wasn’t putting in 110 per cent late in his races wehereas when he’s able to control he gives a good kick.’’
TAB had You Make Me Smile the $2.15 favourite on Tuesday afternoon.
Stablemate Fabricator is one of the outsiders at $23 for the ANZ Bloodstock News Handicap (1900m) but the trainer is expecting a cheeky run.
The gelding led all the way over a mile at Nowra before dropping 50m and settling in the second half when he ran fifth behind Love Shack Baby two weeks ago.
You Make Me Smile leads all the way at Canterbury on January 9
“I’m not sure what to make of the run, it was a stop start race for him,’’ Coyle said.
“He’s always looked like a horse that would enjoy stepping up in trip and he gets that opportunity.
“I’m hoping he appreciates it. He’s going to put himself on speed and the less pressure the better.’’
Meanwhile, Coyle's three best mares Memes, Siren’s Fury and White Moss are set for a return at Warwick Farm on February 9 following barrier trials on their home track on Tuesday.
Memes finished runner-up behind Fiesta in her 800m heat while the other duo had the task of chasing the flying Super Too who won their heat by some 16 lengths.
Coyle said Memes will most likely run in a 1000m Benchmark 94 first-up, and suspects Super Too will contest that race, while Siren’s Fury and White Moss are headed for the Group 2 Breeders’ Classic (1200m).