The barrier gods have forced trainer Brad Widdup’s hand with lightly raced filly Tintookie so far this winter but he’s hoping her luck will change at Randwick on Saturday.
Tintookie has been an eye-catcher as she’s run into the minor money from last after being resigned to going back from wide alleys.
But that won’t be necessary when the filly fronts up for the City Tattersalls Group Handicap (1200m) with Brett Prebble back on board and an ideal barrier in four which he hopes affords the hoop a little more control over her destiny.
“It doesn’t always mean the right result but it’s good to see her finally get a nice draw,’’ Widdup said.
“Hopefully we can be in front of a couple and not be so far back.
“She can be her own worst enemy but in the past she has been able to hold a more forward position than she has in her last couple.
“Going to 1200m with a better barrier you’d like to think she will be competitive.”
She resumed with a closing third behind Brudenell and Waverider Buoy over 1100m on June 17 then chased the latter home into the same placing two weeks later.
Punter’s Intelligence sectionals recorded Tintookie’s last 600m in her second-up third at 32.90, the fastest of the meeting, and a meeting best last 200m of 10.89.
With just eight starts under her belt so far, Widdup only sees upside for the three-year-old, $4.60 with TAB on Wednesday, who has clearly returned in fine touch.
“We’ve been patient with her and waited to bring her to town,’’ he said.
“I sort of held her back for the winter hoping to get a bit of rain. I think she’s better with her toe in the ground but you wouldn’t think so after seeing her last couple of runs where she’s running massive sectionals.
“She’s a more mature horse now and you’d like to think there’s a lot in front of her.”
For the first time in a few years, Widdup will start the new season without a headline act but while he might not have another Icebath, as far as we know, he’s excited about the team he has building.
The retirement of a horse like Icebath, Group 1 winner who compiled over $5.2 million in prizemoney, would leave a hole in most stables and it’s done that to Widdup’s Hawkesbury yard.
“We’re rebuilding but in saying that I’m pretty happy with horses like Phearson, Short Shorts, Fire Lane and a little filly called Hasty Honey,’’ Widdup said.
“Ausbred Flirt is another one, she bled at her last start but hopefully we can manage that. Those horses are probably flying under the radar.”
Widdup is likely to roll the dice from an awkward draw with two-year-old Colours Of Autumn as she has her second start in the Inglis Race Series Closing Handicap (1400m).
The youngster drew the inside barrier on debut at Kembla Grange and went to the line virtually untested beaten two lengths.
“Be careful what you wish for because we drew the outside this start,’’ he said.
“She probably needs to run because there aren’t many options around and she needs 1400m.
“Her run was great at Kembla. We’re probably going to have to ride her quiet and see what happens.”
– Racing NSW