MONDAY: October 24, 2022: HAWKESBURY trainer Steve O’Halloran has opted for winkers on second favorite Oceans One in a bid to raise his “sail” at home tomorrow.
And he has booked joint Hawkesbury premiership front-runner Rachel King for the gelding in the St Johns Park Bowling Club Provincial Maiden Handicap (1100m).
King, who became the first of her sex to win the jockeys’ title at the provincial track in 2019-20 and also dead-heated with Tommy Berry last season, has ridden five winners (along with talented apprentice Tyler Schiller) at Hawkesbury so far this current season.
Lightly-raced Super One four-year-old Oceans One, the first foal of the unraced Hinchinbrook mare Oceanide, has started only twice since a lengthy break.
He was runner-up to Oxford Vision in a Provincial Maiden (1000m) at Kembla Grange on September 15 at his first outing since last November, and then finished fifth to Wondereach in a Midway Maiden Plate (900m) at Newcastle on October 15.
“Oceans One was a bit immature, so we gave him a good spell before putting him back into work,” O’Halloran said this morning.
“He has drawn poorly at both his recent runs, and got bumped around at Newcastle last time in the straight by the winner (first starter Wondereach, who hung out from the 500m and subsequently had a warning placed by RacingNSW stewards on his record in relation to his racing manners).
“Koby Jennings rode Oceans One, and said it knocked his confidence a bit, hence the decision to put winkers on him tomorrow.
“Hopefully, that will help keep his mind on the job.
“Unfortunately, he has drawn awkwardly again (13 in a current field of 14), but we’re fortunate to be able to have Rachel on board.”
Oceans One this morning was at $5 with TAB.com.au, behind $2.30 favorite Chipper (Brenton Avdulla), who was placed twice in town last preparation for Wyong trainer Kim Waugh and won a 1000m Gosford trial on October 13 in preparation for his resumption.
Jennings is a close friend of Newcastle trainer Nathan Doyle, who landed a Hawkesbury double last Thursday, and partners debutante Counter Move ($7.50) for him against Oceans One and Chipper.
O’Halloran also runs Mr Grey (Keagan Latham) in the Blacktown Workers Club Group Maiden Handicap (1500m).
“He is a newcomer to the stable after finishing ninth in a 1400m at Goulburn earlier in the month on debut for Ciaron Maher and David Eustace,” O’Halloran said.
“I’m sure there is improvement in him, and look forward to seeing how he performs tomorrow.”
Mr Grey (by Caravaggio) is a younger half-brother to Glaciers, who won a 900m Newcastle 2YO Maiden on debut in March, 2020 before going under narrowly over 1300m at Warwick Farm on heavy ground.
Wyong trainer Tracey Bartley has decided against backing up stablemates Irish Kisses and Defeat in the Blakes Marine Conditional Open Handicap (1300m).
They both ran in the same race at Kembla Grange last Saturday. Irish Kisses ran third to Hawkesbury-trained Phearson in a Provincial Benchmark 64 Handicap (1400m), and Defeat was ninth.
Irish Kisses’ impending withdrawal will cause a major market reshuffle as she was the $2 pre-post favorite this morning.
Bartley also has D’Arpano (Willie Pike) scheduled to line up against Chipper, Oceans One and Counter Move in the 1100m Provincial Maiden Handicap, but is keeping a close watch on weather developments.
“I will run her if the track stays in the soft range, but not if there is a downgrade,” Bartley said this morning.
Brazen Beau filly D’Arpano, who has been placed at two of her eight starts to date, will race in blinkers if she goes to the post.
. Course manager Rick Johnston this morning posted a “Soft 7” rating following 9mm of rain in the last 24 hours (18mm in the past week).
The rail has remained in the TRUE position; the same as it was for last Thursday’s meeting.