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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2024: HAWKESBURY stayer Torrens will have a new rider at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday when he takes another step toward his Sydney Cup goal.

With Jenny Duggan, who has ridden the seven-year-old at his last seven starts, unavailable through suspension, trainer Marc Chevalier has called on Tyler Schiller to partner the seven-year-old stallion in the Group 3 Manion Cup (2400m).

“Tyler has never been on Torrens’ back, but he’s a great jockey and I’m sure he will be fine,” Chevalier said today.

“Torrens has come on nicely since his last run; he worked strongly on the course proper this morning.

“And he’s back to his favorite distance.”

Whilst Torrens has been placed only once in six starts at Rosehill – that was at his last run there when a close third to Stockman in the Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) in early December – his trainer isn’t worried.

“Obviously we would prefer Royal Randwick, but Torrens is getting better at Rosehill,” Chevalier said.

“He was beaten only one and a half lengths in the Manion Cup 12 months ago, and then was injured a fortnight later in the Chairman’s Quality at Randwick, and couldn’t run in the Cup.

“Then he was less than a length from Stockman in the Christmas Cup.”

Chevalier has held off deciding whether Torrens lines up in this year’s Group 2 Chairman’s (2600m) on April 6, which is a week before the $2m Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick.

“It will depend on how he performs on Saturday, and his subsequent progress,” he said.

“If I feel he is fit enough for the 3200m after the Manion Cup, then he may miss the Chairman’s and go straight to the Sydney Cup.”

. Fellow Hawkesbury trainer Edward Cummings has a runner in Saturday’s $750,000 Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m).

He will be represented by the lightly-raced Cosmic Lad (Chad Schofield).

Only 12 horses accepted for the Guineas, and dual acceptor Militarize has been withdrawn and instead will contest the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at weight-for-age against older horses.

. Meanwhile, Mike Van Gestel clinched his eighth winner of the season when $61 roughie No Statement ran his rivals ragged at the midweek metropolitan meeting at Wyong today.

Apprentice Molly Bourke got the five-year-old gelding away to a flyer in the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1000m), and he never looked like losing.

No Statement was having his second run back after finishing fourth in a 1000m Open Handicap at the Black Opal Stakes meeting at Canberra on March 10.

He has been a wonderful performer for Van Gestel and his wife Louisa and their family syndicate which races the gelding.

No Statement has now won 12 races and been placed 14 times, and earned nearly $370,000 – and it’s not the first occasion he has upset more fancied rivals at a city meeting.

Another apprentice Amy McLucas was on board when he also outsped his rivals in a Benchmark 72 Handicap (1000m) on the Kensington track last October at $41.

Molly Bourke has developed a real affinity with No Statement, having won five races on him.

No Statement was the 17th winner so far this month from the Hawkesbury training base.


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Mar 20

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