It’s not going to be an easy job for Jean Van Overmeire to guide promising youngster See You Soon to victory from an outside alley in Saturday’s $1 million Golden Gift (1100m) at Rosehill.
But then again 2019 hasn’t exactly been an easy year for the talented apprentice.
He spent more than two months on the sidelines at the end of last summer with a broken wrist then missed three months and just about all of winter, where apprentices get their biggest slice of the pie, with a broken ankle after being kicked by a horse.
Add to that he had his indentures transferred from Bjorn Baker at Warwick Farm to Anthony Cummings at Randwick back in August.
So when See You Soon made a stunning debut win two weeks ago the 25-year-old got the sense that the tide was finally turning in his favour.
“I feel it has come at a good time,’’ he said.
“I had a long time out, last season I was out for eight months with injury and a few things happened in between.
“It’s been a rough trot with not much luck involved. So it’s exciting to have a horse of her calibre come my way and Jean (Dubois) is a big supporter of mine.’’
While nobody is ever pleased to draw wide, the filly will jump one stall from the outside, Van Overmeire said it’s more important to have a young horse balanced and in their rhythm and he feels See You Soon has already shown she’s a professional racehorse.
And she looks like a smart one too –sectional data shows her last 600m on debut was 32.89, just 0.16 off the best of the day, and she was the only horse to break 11 seconds for the last 200m at the meeting clocking 10.90.
“The way she accelerated did catch me by surprise,’’ he said.
“I was quietly confident going into the race because she trialled brilliant. The way she finished off in her trial I knew I had a lot left and everything else in the trial was off the bit.
“She was only hitting top gear at the end of her race so the extra 100m will be a massive favour to her.
“I don’t see why she shouldn’t improve. I spoke to her trackwork rider and he said she’s improved again, and I galloped her Tuesday and I’m happy with her.’’
See You Soon was an $8 chance on debut in a six horse field and she was $7 on Wednesday in the Golden Gift which will have a capacity field of 14 runners.
Van Overmeire partnered stablemate Aylmerton to his debut win a couple of years ago and while it’s fair to say that horse didn’t live up to his promise See You Soon is a filly trainer Jean Dubois obviously has an opinion of.
In his usual reserved way, Dubois said the debut win was a pleasant surprise but you get the sense the surprise element was only small.
“We knew that she could be good, maybe not that good,’’ Dubois said.
“She pulled up well, she galloped easy on Tuesday morning and I’m happy. On Saturday it will be a different story, it’ll be a large field and the draw is important.’’
That draw has hampered the filly’s chances on paper but there’s a carrot larger than the $1 million purse for the new feature race.
By virtue of the prizemoney earned the horses finishing first ($580,000) and second ($190,000) will be basically guaranteed a start in the $3.5 million Golden Slipper in March.
– Racing NSW