Hawkesbury hobby trainer Jason Clisby missed his young sprinter Avago Boy’s home track win last time – but will be back on course tomorrow for hopefully a repeat performance.
Clisby, who runs a roofing maintenance business and has only two horses in work – both of whom are racing at the meeting - returns from a Bali trip in the morning in time to saddle Avago Boy for the KB Food Co Class 1 Handicap (1000m).
Grant Buckley rode the lightly-raced Denman three-year-old in his breakthrough success in a 1000m Maiden at Hawkesbury on June 10 after his trainer had opted to remove winkers.
“I missed that win unfortunately, but fly back into Sydney in the morning and will definitely be there tomorrow,” Clisby said.
“He has done well since that race and hopefully can make it back to back wins.”
Purple Cup’s withdrawal has reduced the field to five starters, and Avago Boy carries topweight with 59kg.Clisby, who says his dream is to win a Golden Slipper Stakes, buys one or two horses each year at the Inglis Classic yearling sale and normally gets them ready to trade at the Ready To Run sale as early two-year-olds provided they meet his reserve price. But $6000 “cheapie” Avago Boy (he has already returned $31,050) is an exception.
“He went in the wind prior to the sale, and had to have an operation,” Clisby explained.
“It wasn’t a total success, and that’s why I have been keeping Avago Boy to shorter races. He is really a 1400m horse.”
In spite of his wind problem, Avago Boy has been a consistent performer for the stable. From eight starts so far, he has managed a win and three placings and only once has finished further back than fifth.
He was runner-up to Fifth Affair in an 1100m Maiden at Hawkesbury in January, and third placegetter Missile Miss was an impressive first-up winner at Kembla Grange last Saturday.
In his recent Hawkesbury success on heavy ground, he beat debutant Angelo, who is strongly fancied to break through in tomorrow’s Tassal Plate 3YO Maiden Handicap (1100m) for fellow Hawkesbury trainer Garry Frazer.
Clisby’s other representative The Sprooker, also to be partnered by Buckley, is one of Angelo’s rivals.
The Your Song three-year-old is yet to be placed in five starts, but showed pace last time out and was beaten only two lengths when fifth to Test of War in a Wyong Maiden (1100m) on June 7.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Soviet (Adam Hyeronimus) opposes Angelo and The Sprooker and returns to racing as a gelding. The Stratum three-year-old has trialled twice in preparation for his resumption, and at his latest outing was runner-up to Brave Story in a 1045m heat at Randwick on June 12 on a heavy surface.
Hawkesbury fortunately dodged the heavy rain which has hit coastal areas in the past 48 hours; having received only 5mm in the last 48 hours. As a result, the track this morning was rated a “Soft 5” with a penetrometer reading of 5.07.
“Track Manager Jeff Haynes confirmed the rating at lunchtime today following good feedback from riders in a course proper gallop early yesterday,” Hawkesbury CEO Greg Rudolph said.
“We haven’t received anywhere near the rain that most other parts of Sydney have received and given continued fine weather the track rating may commence just in the Soft range for the start of the meeting and then be assessed from there."
Talented apprentice Jean Van Overmeire rides one of Hawkesbury trainer Wade Slinkard’s two runners in the Patties Foods Benchmark 67 Handicap (1400m) – the final of the annual Rising Star Series – and has the 2017-18 title sewn up.
Irrespective of the outcome of tomorrow’s race, Van Overmeire (40 points) will earn at least one point for riding Legistation to add to his current seven-point lead; sufficient to add his name to the Rising Star honour roll.
Legistation’s four wins have all been achieved on his home track; the latest when he led throughout (partnered by Chad Lever) in a Benchmark 72 Handicap (1300m) at the June 10 meeting.
Slinkard’s other representative is Stradazzle, to be ridden by 3kg claimer Olivia Pickering. As with his stablemate, he is also a homebody; three of his five wins being at Hawkesbury.
Van Overmeire’s closest rivals Mikayla Weir (33 points) and Patrick Scorse (30 points) will oppose him in tomorrow’s final heat of the series.
Weir rides Charcuterie for Canberra trainer Luke Pepper and Scorse has the mount on recent first-up Sapphire Coast winner Jarrett for Kembla Grange trainer Theresa Bateup.
The rail is 3m out from the 1300m to the 400m, and in the TRUE position for the remainder. The track this morning was rated a “Soft 5” with a penetrometer reading of 5.07.
Paul Joice’s selections are:
RACE 1: MUSICAL GENIUS, Avago Boy, Painted Wall.
RACE 2: ANGELO, Soviet, Eden Vale.
RACE 3: NAUTIBERNIE, Kentucky Diva, Superior Choice.
RACE 4: ANTONIO’S PRIDE, Kuiper Belt, Polar Blast.
RACE 5: VOODOO LADY, Trades Star, Mascot.
RACE 6: McMAHON, Jarrett, Legistation.
RACE 7: VICTORY ANTHEM, Toroso, Kitteau.
RACE 8: EXTREME MEASURE, Tornado Gal, Ticked.
SPECIALS: ANGELO, VOODOO LADY, VICTORY ANTHEM