TUESDAY: May 14, 2019: HAWKESBURY trainer Garry Frazer is hoping it’s a case of Group 1 déjà vu at Morphettville on Saturday.
Fraser is seeking back-to-back victories at racing’s elite level with his classy mare Spright in the $750,000 The Goodwood (1200m).
As she did when clinching a Group 1 breakthrough at the same track and over the same distance on May 4 in the $600,000 TAB Classic, Spright has again drawn the outside barrier (16).
But Frazer isn’t perturbed at all.
“I wasn’t worried when she drew wide in the TAB Classic, and I’m feeling the same for this race,” he said today.
“In fact, I think it suits her. Damien (Oliver) will be able to let her find her feet and then get to the outside again on straightening.”
The Goodwood is run at set weights plus penalties, and Spright has equal topweight with 56.5kg; the same weight she carried when unleashing a powerful burst to trounce her own sex in the TAB Classic.
Frazer’s son Jordan has remained in Adelaide looking after Spright, and has given his father a confidence booster in the lead-up to Saturday’s assignment.
“Jordan rode the mare this morning, and was really happy with how she galloped,” he said.
“His remark to me afterwards was: ‘Whatever beats her on Saturday will want to be b…..good’.
“He rides Spright in nearly all her work, and knows her very well.”
Morphettville was rated a “Good 4” today, and Frazer is understandably hoping it stays that way for the remainder of the week.
Spright can lift her earnings to nearly $1.75m if successful in The Goodwood, and increase her chances of gaining a slot in the $14m The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick in October.
. Fellow Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup clinched his second provincial double this season at Kembla Grange today.
Widdup had only two starters - Cry Of Achilles and Lagarde – and scored with both.
Christian Reith rode Cry Of Achilles in the Provincial & Country Maiden Handicap (1200m), and Sam Clipperton partnered Lagarde in the Class 1 Handicap (1000m).
Cry Of Achilles ($3.10) broke through at his seventh start, downing $1.90 favorite Speed and Style after the pair had staged a battle right to the post.
Lagarde ($3.70) also upset another favorite Ariege ($1.80) after being strongly challenged by the runner-up in the straight.
Widdup put visors on Cry Of Achilles and removed blinkers, but didn’t feel the gear change contributed greatly to the result.
“It was the right race for him, and Christian gave him a great ride,” he said.
“This is his first preparation for me and he keeps improving.”
Cry Of Achilles is a well-bred three-year-old by Snitzel from the Charge Forward mare Headway, who raced in the Makybe Diva colours and won the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington in her three-year-old season.
Widdup feels he has “worked out” Lagarde, who has now won two of her last three starts after a frustrating run of nine minor placings.
“She is best a bit on the fresh side and really enjoys the 1000m,” he said. “Both her wins have been over that distance and she has been dominant both times.”
A three-year-old filly by Spright’s sire Hinchinbrook, Lagarde broke through in an Orange Maiden Plate (1000m) on March 24 before finishing fourth to Ladies’ Gem in a Class 1 Handicap (1100m) on her home track on April 16.
“Her run at Hawkesbury was good,” Widdup said. “She drew awkwardly and they caught her only in the last 100m.”
Widdup was glad he pulled the right rein in scratching Lagarde from a similar race over 1100m at last Friday’s opening of the Scone carnival, even though it was worth more money.
“She drew poorly at Scone, and the Kembla race definitely looked more suitable,” he said.
Widdup, who scored with both Wonderbabe and Celosia at Newcastle on December 8 last year, is on a winning streak.
He has won four races in the last six days, having also scored with Rare Episode at Hawkesbury last Thursday and Love My Cashews at Kembla Grange two days later.
The Kembla double took him to 34 wins for the season.