Summary Of Our Trainers’ Tips For Apollo Stakes Day

From David Pfieffer

Horse: Mad Darcey
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 2, Midway Hcp) The last preparation was a bit disappointing and she’s come back this time and her two trials were outstanding. We weren’t sure how she would perform first-up, you look at last prep’s form and it was hard to be too confident. So it was good to see her back up the trials for a first-up win. We’re just treating her the same way we did going into the first-up run. We’ll let the speed dictate to us where she’s going to be in the run and hopefully she can have the same result as first-up. At the moment she’s in good order, we’ve just got to see her back it up.

Horse: Whinchat
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 4, Kia Ora Stud Hcp) Whinchat is a winner of four from nine, has only missed a place three times and on each occasion he’s been on the back foot, or completely missed the jump, when the gates open. When he jumps with them he’s a bold front-runner. The whole time he’s in the gates it’s always a nervous wait. He’s a handy horse and he’s always been a hard project because of his barrier manners but there’s no doubt he can gallop. I think he’s improving every preparation with his manners and the more he races the better he gets. When he can get the front and roll at his own rhythm, in those smaller fields, it’s a positive for him. He’s got an issue in the barriers so we’ve got to pick our mark with what gate we take as well. I hope he can replicate his last start but also we’re jumping a couple of grades. But it’s an asset coming down in the weights because most of last prep he carried up near top weight

From Edward Cummings

Horse: Strait Acer
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 5, Expressway Stakes) It’s the first time we’ve run him at 1200m but it’s an exciting opportunity with the conditions of the race. If he’s very competitive in a race like this he could be competitive in other 1200m races. Randwick is perfect for him, it’s a good race at the right time of the carnival to kick him off and test him at the distance in this grade knowing he’s going to be comfortable when he gets to 1400m and 1500m. If he can add this string to his bow it’s only going to give everyone more to think about. He’s come back really well. In his coat, his mentality. There were obvious things he could improve on, general manners and the way he conducted himself on the track in the morning. First and foremost I want him to hit the line, show his usual turn of speed late in the race. There are some leaders there, one of which has a strong fitness edge in Malkovich. It’s going to be a fascinating race.

Horse: Long Gene
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 10, Chandon Garden Spritz Handicap) With 52kg, I wouldn’t put it past Long Genes to make his presence felt late. He’s definitely the fresh horse, it’s an interesting play but I like the weight relief he’s got. I like Randwick for this horse. How far out of his ground he’s going to be I’m not quite sure and he’s taking on horses that are deep into their preparations. I don’t think we’ve settled on what his best distance is. He’s come back very well, he’s feeling well. I like the horse, he’s got a great attitude.

From Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou

Horse: Facile
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 8, Light Fingers Stakes) After beating the Thousand Guineas winner Joliestar first-up she was just outgunned by Arkansaw Kid at Caulfield then pulled up with issues after failing at Flemington. She didn’t handle Caulfield all that crash hot so it was a really good effort to run second that day. She looked a beaten horse a long way out and she struggled that way of going, once she balanced up she found the line again. Anything that could go wrong went wrong at Flemington after that. We weren’t happy with how she pulled up after that race. What Facile has in her favour in the Light Fingers is a draw (gate 2) that will allow her to race to her strengths. Her natural racing pattern is to begin well and roll forward, and I’d say Tim (Clark) will take up the running unless something wants to go silly up front.

Horse: Arctic Glamour
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 8, Light Fingers Stakes) A race like the Surround will really suit her but showed at the start of last preparation she’s capable of sprinting sharply fresh. She’s retuning off a mile prep and even though it might be short of her best in her maiden she was pretty dynamic at Rosehill over 1200m first-up last prep. We were really happy with her effort in the Thousand Guineas. She’s not a filly that normally settles up on top of the speed and that day at Caulfield it was terribly hard to make ground from back and wide. On a fairer track she would have finished a lot closer to the winner. We’ve been happy with how she’s prepped up, how much improvement she’s made in her break we’ll get a guide on Saturday.

Horse: Ballroom Bella
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 8, Light Fingers Stakes) She knocked over a maiden and a Benchmark 64 to start her last prep and held her own as she rose in class in two subsequent runs. She’s always shown good promise, we’ve taken her along a bit quieter than the other two. We thought she was always a filly that had black type ability. We threw her in the deep end early as a two-year-old in a really good form race. It’s a bit hard to poke any holes in her form since albeit it’s a fair step up in grade.

From David Payne

Horse: Navajo Peak
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 7, Apollo Stakes) Navajo Peak won the Chelmsford Stakes in the spring before he failed to make an impression from wide draws at his next two starts in the Kingston Town Stakes and Metropolitan, but Navajo Peak simply didn’t stay. His best distance is 1600 metres. We stretched him out just to test him, and I’ve realised now we keep him around the 1600-metre mark. His main aim is the Doncaster (Mile), he should come into that with a fairly light weight. Navajo Peak has trialled twice in preparation for his return, the latest when 3rd in a 1000m Rosehill heat. He has come back well and his last trial, we just wanted him to have a bit of fun, we didn’t press him. He’s forward enough, I think he will be in the money.

From Kerry Parker

Horse: Think It Over
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 7, Apollo Stakes) He’s going into it terrific, his trials have been very good, but he’s an eight-year-old now and he might take that little longer to come up. But he’s going really well and no doubt there’s a bit of improvement in him. A year ago we weren’t in any of these races so to be back heading down this path is brilliant. I’ve just gone through the motions normally getting him ready. I brought him in and had given him a good, solid, foundation so I was pretty sure he was just going to turn up and run well. He flew the gates in his first trial and I think he was a bit upset with Nash (Rawiller) for easing back, but it showed his will was there, and in his second trial he was really strong through the line. If you watch the run on he was just ripping, he went terrific. Nash said he felt great, did everything right and in his last trial he extended. It’s always in the back of your head, I’m not sure how many preparations we get with him. We just take each one as it comes. So far so good, it looks like he’s full on and ready to get back to the sports.

From Sara Ryan

Horse: Attractable
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 7, Apollo Stakes) Attractable was in career best form in the Spring, winning the Coffs Harbour Cup en route to the Big Dance before a close up 2nd in the Group 2 The Ingham. Every single time Regan (Bayliss) sat on him he kept saying this horse is improving and you know, it’s a bit odd for a horse to keep improving as a five-year-old but he’s just oozing confidence and that’s the key to this horse, as long as he’s confident, he’ll run well. He didn’t really have that long off, that was the only reason I gave him one trial (over 1000m at Rosehill on 5th Feb), he retained his fitness pretty well, he pulled up very well from the trial and this (Wednesday) morning he galloped enormous so I do expect a more forward showing than you would expect from a horse off one trial. As long as he’s running in the first half of the field I’d be very happy with him, you have to respect Fangirl and Militarize but he will be more forward than you would expect.

From Annabel Neasham

Horse: Learning To Fly
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 8, Light Fingers Stakes) Learning To Fly had an exhibition gallop at Randwick last Saturday to simulate the race day experience and it had the desired effect. Learning To Fly had both of her trials at home so I just wanted to give her an away day to get the nervous energy out of her before the Light Fingers. She can get on her toes a little bit, but that’s why I was keen to get her away. She was a real professional out there, she was under a double grip and she looked to be extending really well. She’s a good filly and it’s good to have her back.

From The Editor

Sydney Race 5 – King Of Sparta
Sydney Race 6 – Olentia
Sydney Race 7 – Fangirl

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