If reigning Newhaven Park Country Championships winning trainer Terry Robinson was wondering where his leading contender for the 2022 series would come from he found an answer as bonny mare So Say You raced her way out of Highway company at Rosehill on Saturday.
While So Say You, a five-year-old mare, doesn’t have the upside that Robinson’s stable star Art Cadeau had going into the Championships earlier this year he feels she has what it takes to qualify on her home track on February 13.
Nowra is the venue for the South East Country Championships (1400m) and there’s a chance that will be where So Say You races next.
“I’m going to freshen her up for it,” Robinson said.
“She does sprint well fresh, she’s had 19 starts now, and at 1400m if she is kept fresh she can run really good races especially with genuine speed on.
“She’s going to have a break now, go to the paddock for a week or two and I’ll see how she comes back and how big she is. If we need to give her a run at least we have the option.”
The mare achieved the rare feat of winning three TAB Highway races when she scored over stablemate Lord Desanimaux, who recorded his 14th second placing, in the 1800m event.
Of course first and second from the regional Country Championships earn a spot in the $500,000 Newhaven Park Country Championships Final (1400m) run at Randwick on April 2.
Robinson said aside from So Say You there are a couple of potential Country Championships hopefuls in his stable and one of them, Danzadel, accompanied his team to Rosehill.
“I’ve got two other horses in the stable I really like,’’ he said.
“Danzadel has been disappointing but she beats herself. I bought her up to have a day out at the races, if she can learn to settle she has plenty of ability.”
The four-year-old has won two of nine, her last win came on the undercard to this year’s South East Country Championships meeting held at Goulburn in February.
The Shoalhaven Turf Club will be hoping for better luck in 2022 as it will be the third time Nowra has been slated to host the Country Championships but they’re yet to be able to stage the event due to washouts.
In 2020 the meeting was moved to Moruya while Goulburn stepped in to play host this year.
“The track is in really good order at the moment, they’ve spent a lot of money on it, all we need is a bit of fine weather and hope for the best,’’ Robinson said.
Meanwhile, Art Cadeau is the paddock after failing in last week’s Group 3 Festival Stakes where he weakened to finish last after a wide run.
Robinson said it might take a preparation for the Country Championships and Kosciuszko winner to transition to stakes level and is planning to target the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Randwick on February 26.
“I was disappointed last week as a lot of people were. There’s nothing wrong with him, but I don’t think he goes as well at Rosehill as he does at other tracks,’’ he said.
“There’s still that big class rise to make but he’s better than his last run.”
– Racing NSW