It might be winter, but the 'heat' is on debutante Titan Of Industry to perform for his new trainer Matthew Vella at Hawkesbury on Tuesday.
The Written Tycoon two-year-old, after six trials (four of them for original co-trainers Peter and Paul Snowden), was a dual acceptor for the meeting.
Amongst a number of young horses Vella trains for Sir Owen Glenn’s Go Bloodstock Australia at his Glenn Haven Horse Farm adjoining the track, Titan Of Industry ($6 on TAB) finally goes to the races to contest the XXXX Gold Provincial & Country Maiden Handicap (1100m).
Vella withdrew the youngster from the Sky Channel Maiden Plate (1100m) to run over the same distance, and Chad Lever will ride him.
Titan Of Industry has to overcome the outside barrier in a field of 10 to beat his rivals – many of whom are three and four-year-olds – but his trainer has opted to debut him on home ground.
“I have scratched him a couple of times recently to avoid heavy tracks, but there’s no point holding off any longer,” Vella said this morning.
“Titan Of Industry is still a bit foaly. This doesn’t appear to be a weak race, and I’m giving him an each-way chance. But there won’t be any excuses.
"As Titan Of Industry is a gelding, Sir Owen isn’t interested in winning country races with him. Unless he can run ‘Top 3’ tomorrow, we’ll move him on.”
TAB.com.au this morning listed Titan Of Industry as a $6 equal third favorite, with fellow Hawkesbury representatives, three-year-old filly Testa’s Flower and another two-year-old gelding Titan Star disputing favouritism at $4.40.
Alysha Collett will ride Testa’s Flower for Terry Croft, and Mike Van Gestel has booked Adrian Layt for Titan Star.
Titan Of Industry, a son of three-times Victorian winner Keltara, cost $200,000 as a weanling, but isn’t the highest-priced competitor in tomorrow’s race.
Fastnet Rock filly Paprena ($8), who will have her first start for leading Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup, fetched $500,000 as a yearling at the Gold Coast in 2018.
Paprena raced once for Melbourne co-trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr when seventh as a $1.90 favourite in a Bairnsdale Maiden Plate (1200m) on May 3. The three-year-old has since finished second in a four-horse 800m Hawkesbury trial last Monday.
Five of Vella’s six winners so far this season – including recent first-up Hawkesbury winner Blaze A Trail - have been for Sir Owen Glenn.
The Criterion youngster was a Royal Randwick withdrawal last Saturday because of the heavy conditions, and will be seen next at Newcastle on Saturday week.
“I gave Blaze A Trail a tick over trial at Gosford last Friday (he ran third to Martinique in an Open 1000m heat) to keep him up to the mark for a 2YO Handicap over 1600m,” Vella said.
Godolphin’s James Cummings has four runners tomorrow, and stable spokesman Darren Beadman this morning named Pitjara and Mollycoddle as the stable’s best chances.
Pitjara (Grant Buckley) currently is a $1.85 favourite for the TAB 3YO & Upwards Maiden Plate (1300m), and Mollycoddle (Rachel King) is at $5 for the Mounties Group 2YO Maiden Handicap (1400m).
Shooting To Win three-year-old Pitjara was a $2.30 favourite in a Newcastle Maiden (1200m) on April 23 when she reared in the gates as the start was effected and took no part.
“Pitjara has been quite a temperamental filly, and Scott Eales has done a lot of work with her,” Beadman explained. “She has continued to improve the further she has got into her preparation, and her two subsequent runs (both placings) at Newcastle have been good.
“She is hanging out for a breakthrough and gets her chance tomorrow. The same applies with Mollycoddle (a homebred Lonhro filly).
"She was an excellent second to Angel Helena at Hawkesbury on June 7, and that filly was narrowly beaten at Randwick last Saturday, so the form is good.”
Cummings’s other Hawkesbury runners are Segosha ($8.50) in the Sky Channel Maiden Plate (1100m), and Rebukes is an $11 chance in the Byron Bay Brewery Lager Benchmark 64 Handicap (1300m). Grant Buckley will ride both of them.
The rail is 4m out from the 1300m to the winning post and in the TRUE position for the remainder. Following 10mm of rain in the last 24 hours, the track this morning was rated a Soft 7 with a penetrometer reading of 5.72.
PAUL JOICE'S SELECTIONS
RACE 1: PITJARA, Calbuco, McGeehan.
RACE 2: SEGOSHA, Coat Of Arms, Faraway Jewel.
RACE 3: TESTA’S FLOWER, Titan Star, Titan Of Industry.
RACE 4: MOLLYCODDLE, Setanta, Sole Heir.
RACE 5: AJAAYEB, Rebukes, Kosciusko.
RACE 6: MISSION DREAM, Snitzify, Broadside Armour.
RACE 7: FIRST FOOTMAN, Chief Geronimo, Power Of Attorney.
BEST: PITJARA, MOLLYCODDLE, MISSION DREAM