WEDNESDAY: August 19, 2015: HOME is where the heart is.
Hawkesbury trainer Garry Frazer has bypassed opportunities to win another city race with Campania to instead chase a feature success in tomorrow’s $100,000 Listed ILG XXXX Gold Hawkesbury Rowley Mile.
“This race was an afterthought,” Frazer said last night. “She was to have run at Rosehill last Saturday, but we changed our minds when nominations for the Rowley Mile were extended.
“I couldn’t believe there were only six original entries. It’s always good to support your own club whenever possible and, besides, this is a terrific chance to get some black type with Campania.
“She has also been nominated for a 2000m race at Randwick on Saturday, but will definitely run at Hawkesbury.”
Frazer has never won a Rowley Mile – one of Hawkesbury’s time-honored races (it was first run in 1881) – but stresses he has had “very few runners”.
“I probably won’t get a better opportunity. The mare has done well since her last start win at Rosehill. I’m very happy with her.”
Frazer, a superb conditioner, has done a tremendous job with Campania, who kicked off her current campaign at Warwick Farm in early March.
She has raced eight times since for two city wins and four placings and only once has finished further back than fifth.
Frazer, however, deflected any credit for the mare’s good form. “It’s easy to train a mare like her,” he said. “She goes out into a paddock each day after she works and stays there for the day.”
Campania’s overall record is six wins and seven placings from 32 starts, and her trainer is looking to her keeping the stable flag flying while his talented young sprinter Way We Go is currently resting.
Frazer had to seek a new rider (Tommy Berry) when recent partner Kerrin McEvoy (booked for another last-start winner Dragon Flyer, withdrawn from Canterbury today to run at Hawkesbury) thought Campania was running at Randwick on Saturday.
Hawkesbury trainers have leant great support, having five of the eight “Mile” acceptors.
Dual acceptor Color Purple (Jay Ford) has been withdrawn from tomorrow’s Bacardi Benchmark 70 Handicap (1400m) to contest the Listed event, whilst Vite Loni (Christian Reith) and Footy Fan (apprentice Claire Nutman) are backing up from Rosehill defeats last Saturday.
However, co-trainers Tara and Philippe Vigouroux, successful with roughie At Twilight in Sunday’s Narromine Gold Cup, have opted to run former New Zealander Uncle Sugar at Canterbury today.
Gai Waterhouse is chasing her fifth Rowley Mile with last year’s Sydney Cup winner The Offer (Blake Shinn), who resumes with 61kg topweight. Her previous winners were Adamantly (2001), Fiery Venture (2003), Beauty Watch (2007) and Rabbuka (2008).
Sydney’s training dynamo Chris Waller relies on Rugged Cross (Brenton Avdulla), also backing up after finishing fourth under 59kg to Centre Pivot at Rosehill last Saturday.
Waller’s only Rowley Mile winner to date has been Snow Alert in 2010 – but his record could be so much better.
On four occasions he has provided the runner-up; Bellagio Wynn (2009), Altered Boy (2011), Beaten Up (2013) and Tougher Than Ever last year.
Racegoers will have to wait until the last race – Bacardi Benchmark 70 Handicap – for the reappearance of I’ll Take The Jag (Blake Shinn).
But it should be worth the wait. The High Chaparral four-year-old created a tremendous impression with a successful debut at Canterbury on July 29, and trainer John Sargent has made no secret of his admiration for the up-and-comer.
. Hawkesbury this morning was rated a “Good 4“ for tomorrow’s meeting, with a penetrometer reading of 4.85. The rail is in the true position.
. Brian Fletcher’s selections are:
RACE 1: ALL ASSURED, New Wings, Klammer.
RACE 2: MESA, Magic Diamond, Looking East.
RACE 3: FLITERO, Low Places, Zillow.
RACE 4: DAISY DUKE, That Cool Tiger, Haymate.
RACE 5: BADRAAN, Rock Forthe Ladies, Quantrill.
RACE 6: RUGGED CROSS, The Offer, Footy Fan.
RACE 7: ART OF DEFENCE, Northwest, Marilisa.
RACE 8: I’LL TAKE THE JAG, Herne’s Oak, Mark’s Legacy.
SPECIALS: DAISY DUKE, I’LL TAKE THE JAG, ART OF DEFENCE.