By Ray Hickson
A stakes win at Newcastle on Friday would increase the chances of smart mare Notation taking up trainer Matthew Dale’s slot in next month’s $1.3m The Kosciuszko.
In the absence of stable star Fell Swoop, Notation is the best performed horse in Dale’s stable.
The Canberra trainer said the performances of Super Star Bob at Randwick on Saturday and Notation in the Group 3 $160,000 Yarraman Park Tibbie Stakes (1400m) will make The Kosciuszko picture a bit clearer.
“If she was to win she would be a better chance of being offered up for the Kosciuszko because she would have the black type box ticked,’’ Dale said.
“I think we are in a different position then, from the ownership group’s point of view, than if she doesn’t.’’
Dale was offered the opportunity by slot winner Rod Thompson to propose a runner from his stable for the October 19 race so is giving several horses the chance to put their hand up.
Notation, on the third line of TAB betting for the Tibbie at $7.50, finished an unlucky fourth in the Listed Mona Lisa Stakes (1350m) at Wyong after tracking wide throughout.
That shouldn’t be an issue at Newcastle where the four-year-old has drawn ideally in barrier two with in-form rider Tommy Berry in the saddle.
“She’s come through it well and I think the bigger track will suit her,’’ Dale said.
Notation runs fourth in the Mona Lisa at Wyong on September 6
“The Wyong circuit, getting caught three wide, wasn’t ideal but it was a strong performance to stick on the way she did.
“We didn’t think we’d get caught that wide but it was just the way it panned out with the speed in the race. It just showed us she was right up to that grade and we will have another crack.
“It’s an even mares race, set weights and penalties, and I think she is one of the main chances.’’
In the Kosciuszko market, Notation is an $11 chance while stablemate Super Star Bob will be out to increase his standing ($26) in the Schweppes Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The six-year-old is fitter for one run back from a spell, a close third at Wagga with 61kg, and Dale said the step up in distance suits his plan if he was to be selected for The Kosciuszko.
“He’s in very good order, the race didn’t pan out for him at Wagga, he’ll get a better map though he will need some luck from the inside draw,’’ he said.
“If he gets galloping room I think he will run well.
“It’s in the back of my mind if he did become the choice for the Kosciuszko that I would put blinkers on him back to the 1200m.
“He’s a horse that could improve quite sharply in blinkers because he’s a bit of a thinker and a big gawky sort of animal.’’
Super Star Bob, $12 with TAB at Randwick, hasn’t raced on a heavy track but was narrowly beaten by Penske over 1400m on a soft 7 at Randwick in December.
Other horses in contention for the Kosciuszko from the Dale yard are Coup De Main, who Dale said will improve on his first-up third at Kembla last weekend, and Man Of Peace.