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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


FRIDAY: October 6, 2023: SHE boasts a Group 1 placing – but is yet to win a race!

However, Pier Pressure’s Newcastle trainer Kris Lees believes that situation can be rectified when the three-year-old filly lines up at Hawkesbury on Sunday.

Lees has opted to bypass a $500,000 feature at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow to give her the chance to shed her maiden status.

Instead of taking on her own age in the second running of the set weights plus penalties Tapp-Craig (1400m), Pier Pressure has a much easier assignment in the Bendigo Bank Maiden Plate over the same distance, and restricted to NSW provincial-trained horses.

Kerrin McEvoy, who was booked to ride the filly at Rosehill, partners her at Hawkesbury.

He has ridden four winners already at the track in the early part of the season; only one behind Jason Collett, who is not participating on Sunday.

Press Statement filly Pier Pressure, as a $151 outsider, gave her connections a huge thrill when a brave third to recent Group 1 Golden Rose winner Militarize in the Group 1 Sires (1400m) at Royal Randwick in April.

That was only her third start and she has now had two runs this time in, finishing fifth (beaten less than two lengths) in an 1100m Maiden Plate at Hawkesbury on September 7 before a third in a Super Maiden (1200m) at Warwick Farm 13 days later.

“Pier Pressure drew the outside at Rosehill, whereas it’s the exact opposite at Hawkesbury,” Lees said last night.

“She has taken improvement from both runs back, and should get every chance to break through from the inside barrier.”

Pier Pressure is the first foal of the Pierro mare Perissa, who went to the races only three times and won a Bathurst Maiden (1208m) in August 2019.

Lees also plans to start newcomer Detoron (Zac Lloyd) in the same race as Pier Pressure.

“Detoron had five starts in Victoria for a placing over 1100m at Wangaratta last December,” he said.

“She hasn’t been with us long and her work has been okay, but I doubt she can beat the stablemate.”

Hawkesbury trainer Blake Ryan is awaiting a decision from Momack’s owners as to whether the gelding lines up in Sunday’s Martin Collins Polytrack Conditional Benchmark 68 Handicap (1300m).

If he does run, it could possibly be the seven-year-old’s final start for him as he is listed for sale on Wednesday via Inglis Digital.

Apprentice Jett Stanley again claims 2kg, lessening Momack’s weight to 59.5kg; only 0.5kg more than he carried when runner-up to Tara and Phil Vigouroux’s Zouologist in a similar race at home on September 21.

“It’s probably a slightly stronger race this time, but if we go to the post he will meet Zouologist 3kg better,” Ryan said.

“Momack is rock-hard fit and very sound, and it’s up to his owners now whether they want to race him again before he goes up for sale, and there is a reserve price on him.

“He is a special horse to me, as he was my first city winner (at Rosehill Gardens in May last year) and first stakes runner and placegetter when narrowly beaten by Kirwan’s Lane in the Listed Ladies Day Cup at Hawkesbury last November.”

Ryan is yet to decide whether Midori Giant (Jay Ford) contests the Sky Racing Maiden Handicap

(1600m) at home, or goes to Newcastle for a similar race on Tuesday.

Irrespective, the Maurice three-year-old who made his debut at Kembla Grange two days after Momack raced, will race in visors and also have a barrier extension.

“He is a massive horse with ability, but at the same time a work in progress,” Ryan said.

Jockey Tyler Schiller, who won both the apprentice and senior premierships at Hawkesbury last season, has bookings for six of the seven races.

He rides Annoint and Midori Glory for trainer Greg Hickman, Gold Dust (John O’Shea), Prince Kuro (Kim Waugh), Hard Pick (Edward Cummings), and Yet He Moves (Chris Waller).

. The rail is 2m out from 1100m to 450m, and in the TRUE position for the remainder of the circuit. Course manager Kyle Cassim this morning posted a “Good 4” rating.

Seven races are scheduled, with the opener at 1.35pm and closer at 5.14pm.

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