Tamworth trainer Jacob Perrett is under no illusions as he attempts to claim his first TAB Highway win with $23 outsider Wiggles.
But a dominant winning double and the decision of outstanding regional rider Matthew McGuren to make the long return trip for just one ride at Royal Randwick on Saturday, is confidence boosting.
And if Wiggles, off strong recent wins at Inverell and Gunnedah has a modicum of the ability of his namesake (without the ‘S’), he’ll take care of a $120,000 Class 3, 1200m Highway field as second highest rater with 59.5kg for McGuren.
The multiple country premiership winner likely has sacrificed a full book at any regional meeting.
Wiggle was the champion sprinter of her era over 60 years ago with a dozen plus Group and Listed wins here and the USA ridden here mostly by the late great Billy Camer who passed away recently.
Jockeys rode with black armbands at headquarters as a mark of respect upon his passing where he rode his finest races.
And, of course, Aussie children’s band Wiggles are one of the most successful bands of their time having formed 33 years ago ensuring there’ll be plenty of omens bets out there.
Jacob Perrett is a realist explaining why he’s only made the odd trip to town with his wife Lasche mother, foreperson and strapper.
“We just haven’t had the calibre of horse, but this gelding is a nice type, lightly raced at six and off those two wins, it was worth a crack,” Jacob explained.
“I ride work and Matty gives me a hand, he rode this horse on Tuesday morning, gave him the option of the ride and he was happy to take it so that’s encouraging.”
Apprentice Braith Nock had ridden Wiggles at both his recent wins.
“This gelding still has upside, he’s race fit and in form he can race on the pace.
“And while we drew 17, it’s likely looking at acceptances and where emergencies are drawn we could come in a few.”
Perrett with a small stable has the admirable record of nine wins this year, a 14% winning strike rate and 23% the place.
Jacob is a Highway original, back when the series started Capitano owned by his late father-in-law, Gary Germon ran a couple of placings.
In the early TAB market, typically Matt Dunn with 35 series wins provides yet another favourite in Belvedere Boys ($3.60) with his proven series form line of a Doomben win.
Wiggles, a former Victorian, was a late starter: “Bit of age on him but he’s going great. He was originally with Mel Cunningham at Ballarat, he’s already repaid his purchase price.
”Three wins from just six starts, it was worth our while to come down while he’s eligible.”
Perrett is a former welder who almost had a short-lived training career.
“When we were newly married, Sascha had a severe allergy to horses, she’s OK now. But at the start, I had to remove my clothes before I came into the house.”
– Racing NSW