Hawkesbury trainer Marc Chevalier is excited to have his first Group 1 runner at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
And he has specifically recalled Central Coast jockey Jenny Duggan for his representative Torrens in the $750,000 The Metropolitan (2400m).
Duggan has a real affinity with seven-year-old stallion Torrens, having ridden him four times for three wins (Warwick Farm, Randwick and Newcastle in October and November two years ago) for his previous trainer Lauri Parker.
The trio of victories included her sole Stakes success in the Listed-City Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m) at Randwick at $20.
Torrens also provided Chevalier with a Stakes breakthrough in the Listed-Christmas Cup (2400m), with Josh Parr aboard, at Randwick last December at $19.
Even though Torrens is the rank outsider at $101 on TAB for Saturday’s assignment, he is unbeaten at three starts over the Randwick 2400m of The Metropolitan.
Chevalier is looking forward to Duggan riding Torrens again as he strives to get the horse back into winning form.
“I have been keen for Jenny to ride Torrens again for some time, and booked her through her agent [Shaun Flaherty] just after he ran in the Newcastle Gold Cup on September 15,” he said.
“She knows the horse well, and it will be good to get her opinion as to how he feels.”
Chevalier had hoped to start Torrens in the Group 1-Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick in April, but that plan had to be aborted when the horse pulled a muscle a week earlier in the Group 2-Chairman’s Quality (2600m) there on a heavy track.
He has had two runs back, and his trainer feels he can definitely improve on his 14th to The Metropolitan rival Military Mission ($26) in the Group 3-Newcastle Cup (2300m).
“Being a seven-year-old stallion, he needs racing to get him to peak fitness,” Chevalier said. “In an ideal world, I would have liked to have given Torrens one more run going into Saturday.
“But because of the injury in autumn, he needed to be spelled and time has beaten us. Nonetheless, his body condition is looking good.
“He did his final piece of work this morning and his record at Randwick over the 2400m speaks for itself.
“He was double-figure odds at all his three Randwick 2400m wins, so you never know what might happen on Saturday?”
Torrens will carry the No.11 saddlecloth and drew barrier 11, and Chevalier joked “there are a lot of 1’s there”, naturally hoping another number 1 goes up beside the horse’s name once The Metropolitan has been run.
– Racing NSW