On the 7th January Goulburn trainer Tash Burleigh won a Highway Handicap with Pokerjack but the cards haven’t quite fallen her way since.
It’s been a combination of almost five months and 34 runners until the stable has found that winning feeling again.
Not that Burleigh has been too phased by the lean run, maintaining a belief that things would turn around sooner rather than later.
“It certainly is nice to be back in the winner’s circle. The year has been flying by!
“It wasn’t until about three weeks before the drought broke that I actually realised it had been so long since we had a winner,” exclaimed Burleigh.
“I guess what kept us looking forward was the few nice runs we had in those thirty four runners.”
The ‘nice runs’ were plenty of near misses along the way … a second in another Highway Handicap, two minor placings in city handicaps during February and a close second in the inaugural Country Championships Southern Wildcard race with To The Nines, just to name a few.
Burleigh says she didn’t make a lot of tweaks to the regular routine to try and buck the trend.
“You always have slow news days with a small team and being pretty busy with horses and life in general we’ve just kept rolling on.
“There were no changes made as such. We’ve been super busy with a full team.
“It was just the way it rolls in racing. When the horses go up in their grades, sometimes it takes a little bit to come back to their own.”
May was Burleigh’s month, putting the results of the first half of the year firmly in the rear view mirror.
Burleigh has produced three winners from her last seven runners returning to the strong strike rate the stable has always been renowned for. Her results turned around sharply all within the space of a week.
Tulla Park won at Canberra on the 19th May, two days later Fifty Carats saluted at Nowra, the hat-trick arriving when Smarter Than You hustled home at Goulburn’s most recent meeting (26th May).
Burleigh only has one runner on her home track on Monday, Taylor Be Swift ($26 on TAB), but her trainer thinks the form guide and the market assessments aren’t as bad as they look.
“Taylor ran a very brave race at Canberra two starts back. Ridden quiet, had her find the line in full force.
“She was the widest runner on straightening and was marginally beaten in the end.
“Wagga’s result wasn’t as exciting, so we have tried a few different little things between runs with her. She would appreciate give in the ground if we were to get the rain forecast.”
The mare is back in grade and her trainer would love to see her bounce back with something better.
“Her work and attitude at home has been positive. I do hope she gets a good run from barrier two and gives us a cheer where it counts on Monday afternoon.”
And speaking of hot streaks, apprentice Holly Durnan steps out at Goulburn on Monday also on a real tear, having parked an outstanding seven winners from her last 10 rides (as of Friday 2nd June).
Durnan teams up with another local in Danielle Seib on Charlemagne in Race 6, the Brad Writer Constructions B66 Hcp over 1300m.
Seib’s galloper won a similar grade of race at Goulburn on the 9th May and early TAB markets suggest a potential repeat with early shoppers being quoted $5.50.
– Racing NSW