By Ray Hickson
Nobody would begrudge consistent filly Switched a win at Rosehill on Saturday but as trainer Brad Widdup says ‘they’re not handing them out unfortunately’ and she’ll still have to earn it.
Switched is on the back-up in the Ranvet Handicap (1100m) after she ran boom Godolphin filly Tailleur to a nose at Randwick last weekend and Widdup has been more than happy with how she bounced through the run, her third on a heavy track this preparation.
“She’s hard fit and she’s pulled up well from it, I haven’t had to do much with her,’’ he said.
“She’s not a heavy filly and she hasn’t left an oat all week. She’s tough as nails.
“It’s pretty hard to fault her form. Last Saturday it was a bob of a head and we gave 4kg to what looks like a smart filly.’’
Switched hasn’t won since last October but she’s run four seconds and two thirds since then and bumped into progressive types like Aquitaine, a flying Witherspoon and Tailleur.
Widdup said his initial thought after last Saturday’s run was to head to a race on the Kensington track next weekend but admits the prospect of running on a track closer to good than heavy is appealing.
“There is a race Saturday week but there looks like a lot of rain coming Monday and Tuesday and I’d like to try at least to dodge a heavy track,’’ he said.
“I think it is a no brainer to back up rather than waiting another week where we will probably bump into a horse like Spaceboy and Taillieur again.
“I think she has shown she is definitely up to it she’s just been a bit stiff and things haven’t gone her way. She hasn’t run a bad race ever.’’
Another Godolphin filly in Varda will provide the biggest hurdle, she held TAB favouritism at $3.10 on Thursday with Switched the $4.40 section elect.
Widdup starts the day with impressive debut winner Shaik in the Darley Handicap (1100m) and she’s a filly the trainer has plenty of time for.
The problem with the youngster at this point, though, is while the talent is there the race sense isn’t quite honed and she’ll continue to improve on whatever she does at Rosehill.
“She has a lot of ability, physically she handles it very well but mentally she doesn’t,’’ he said.
“I think the best way to get out of it is to race her and let her learn her craft. Hopefully racing will iron her out.’’
Shaik, a $12 chance with TAB, made her debut with a come from behind win over 900m at Newcastle two weeks ago defeating Riccardo, who has subsequently won.
Switched runs second to Tailleur at Randwick on July 4
“The form looks okay but it looks to be not a bad race,’’ Widdup said.
“We want to teach her to race properly, if she pleases us we push on. She has the ability, there’s no worries there and she’s very sharp in her work.’’
Sandbar was due to contest the Ramornie Handicap at Grafton on Wednesday but Widdup elected to scratch after he drew 16 and focus on the Iron Jack Handicap (1200m).
The four-year-old, $19 with TAB, was beaten a length by Roheryn at Rosehill two weeks ago and the trainer sees no reason why he won’t hold his form.
“Hopefully we get a drying track because he’s in great form and his run was terrific the other day,’’ he said.
“I’m sure if he can run similarly to that he’ll be running well in this race.’’