THURSDAY: November 8, 2018: HAWKESBURY trainer Garry Frazer is hoping it will be a case of “third time lucky” with Spright at Flemington on Saturday.
The classy mare lines up against a hot field in the $1m Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) on the final day of the Melbourne Cup carnival en route to the Perth summer carnival.
Frazer initially wasn’t intending to give Spright her third shot at a Group 1 sprint in Melbourne this spring, but changed his mind and sent her south two nights ago in the care of her regular travelling companion, son Jordan.
“She has done unbelievably well since returning from Melbourne after the Manikato Stakes on October 25, and the owners were keen to run her at Flemington,” Frazer said early this evening soon after arriving in Melbourne himself.
“Damien (Oliver) was happy to ride Spright again, and she deserves another chance to clinch a Group 1.
“She had to be back in Melbourne anyway by November 18 for the charter flight to Perth.”
Spright has been responsible for top-class performances at both Melbourne Group 1 starts at Moonee Valley this campaign.
She flew home at $41 when third to Viddora in the Moir Stakes (1000m) on September 28 before a close fourth ($31 to $17) to Brave Smash in the Manikato Stakes (1200m) on October 26.
“Spright was flying at the end of the Moir and, with any luck, would have won the Manikato when she drew poorly and was beaten only three-quarters of a length,” Frazer said.
“No doubt she will be underrated again on Saturday.”
Provided she races well, Spright will go to Perth for the $1m Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on December 1.
Spright this evening was rated a $34 chance in TAB.com.au fixed odds betting for the VRC Sprint Classic, with dual The Everest winner Redzel a $4.80 favorite.
. Jockey Jason Collett won the feature event, the $150,000 Listed Ladies Day Cup (1400m), at Hawkesbury today on $3.10 favorite Pecans.
But his day was soured somewhat with a suspension on a careless riding charge arising from the All State Shopfitting Provincial & Country Maiden Handicap (1100m).
Collett pleaded guilty to the stewards’ charge, and his suspension will start on Sunday week and he will be able to resume riding on December 1.
Pecans, a former Godolphin mare, made it two wins from as many starts at Hawkesbury in defeating gallant joint topweights Burning Passion ($11) and Fabrizio ($6.50).
She won the Group 3 Godolphin Crown (1300m) at Hawkesbury’s stand-alone Saturday meeting in April.
Ironically, Josh Parr, who rode her then, was on the losing side this time, partnering runner-up Burning Passion.
Collett also won the final event, the Richmond Club Stayers Class 4 Handicap (2100m), on another well-backed favorite Keep Up ($3.50).
Glyn Schofield, who won an earlier race – the T & L Fowler Concreting Class 1 Handicap (1600m) on Hostwin Epanoui ($8.50) – also fell foul of stewards, incurring a suspension for his ride on Pecans’ stablemate New Tipperary in the Ladies Day Cup.
Similarly, his term will start on Sunday week and end on December 1.
This was one of the rare Hawkesbury meetings that local trainers went winless. Bernie Kelly’s odds-on favorite Bobbing ($1.70) was confidently backed by punters to clinch a hat-trick in the Ted McCabe Sky Racing Provincial Spring Series Heat (1500m), but was upset by Kembla Grange trainer Michael Tubman’s $14 shot Red Henno.