Chance for maidens to shine at Timaru
It may be a step down from the excitement of cup week, but today's Timaru meeting does present excellent opportunities for three stable debutantes in Dalness Xchange, Pembrook Harry and Formula One.
Dalness Xchange is a recent acquisition from the Greg and Nina Hope stable. A 4yr old Changeover mare she has always had her share of ability and has impressed this time in with some nice form at trials and workouts. In the most recent of these she was a workout winner at Ashburton in 3.10.8 for the 2400m. While John is never one to talk up first starters, he did think that this was a perfect assignment for Dalness Xchange to get her career off on the right note.
"You wouldn't really find a much easier field," said John. "Most of these have been battling away for a fair old time!"
The bookies have not missed this fact either installing Dalness Xchange a $1.60 chance on the fixed odds.
Pembrook Harry is another on debut in Race Three. A 3yr old Bettor's Delight gelding, he is another new runner to the stable having done his early tutelage under Cran Dalgety at Kentuckiana Lodge. Out of Diamond Bright, Pembrook Harry is a half brother to former good racemare Pembrook's Delight - 39 starts, 9 wins, $137,477.
"He had always had a bit of a bad attitude," said John, "so coming to the beach was about trying to change his ways as much as anything."
While he is no good thing in his race debut today, John was confident of a good run.
"He has actually settled down a fair bit and I don't mind him. There are a couple of nice ones in there, but he shouldn't be far away."
Pembrook Harry has been kept safe with the bookies and is a $4.50 chance on the early fixed odds.
The third maiden to feature today is actually one having a bit of time out at the beach in an attempt to freshen him up and get back to the early promise that he showed. Formula One (to go around in Race 5) was a high profile purchase last season for the Greg Brodie and Bruce Negus partnership. To say that he has been disappointing to date is probably an understatement. In his six race starts, his solitary return has been a promoted third in a weak maiden field at Oamaru.
"Bruce had been pleased with what he was showing at home and at the trials but come race day he just wasn't putting in," said John.
"He felt that like Music which he sent to us, that had been in a form slump, and that it was worth giving the beach a go."
John wasn't sure what to make of the Mach Three 3yr old to start with. "He's a big weak buggar and to start with he didn't really impress me. I've got to say though that he has really turned a corner and I'm quite happy with him. I actually think that he is probably the best chance of the three maidens today, although raceday can be a different story. He should really be winning though on what he is showing me at home."
Formula One is currently a $3.00 hope on the fixed odds.
The two other stable hopes for the day start in the day's feature the Timaru Cup - The Royal Garden and Cullect A Guinness. Both horses come out of strong cup week fields and are race hardened for today's race.
"The Royal Garden is going super and just had no luck last week. Providing he steps he should get a good trip and be hard to beat. Cullect A Guinness has had just the one stand start and can be a bit of a risk. The unruly helps him though and he is still going well. He won't be far away either."
The Timaru Cup features the return of 2014 Derby winner in Locharburn who starts off a 30m handicap in his comeback to racing after 14 months on the sideline after a suspensory injury. He will start a shortpriced favourite today.
Posted: Sat 21 Nov 2015