Stayers to Contest 755m Group 2 Decider

Dusty Gambler is seeking to maintain his three race Hatrick unbeaten record over the 755m distance when he lines up in Friday’s running of the $15,825 Wanganui Stayers final for his conditioner Karen Walsh.

Pictured: Dusty Gambler with his trainer Karen Walsh following his Wanganui Stayers heat win (pic Wanganui GRC)

Dusty Gambler ($1.55, TAB Final field, option 987) contested the second 755m heat last Friday. He settled in behind the early pace from where he gradually improved his field position until taking over the race lead towards the end of the back straight the second time around.

He then cruised away from his rivals to secure his 44.96s heat win by a 4.75 length margin. He’ll jump from the three trap on Friday. “Dusty pleased me in his heat in the way he maintained a strong gallop. He kept on working his way forward and he then carried on from there. He normally improves from a heat into a final so I expect further improvement from him, especially as he went into his heat a little underdone. He worked great during the week and I’m happy with him heading into Friday,” advised Walsh.

The Angela Turnwald prepared Mija Sydney ($3.60) has turned into a much more consistent stayer lately seemingly with him growing in confidence. There has never been any doubting his sheer raw ability, however a severe early career incident saw him losing confidence, which as earlier indicated he seems to have regained.

His recent Palmerston North 660m efforts has been outstanding and he stylishly transposed that solid form back to Hatrick where he delivered his strong finishing 45.22s heat win. He had settled back in the field during the early rush from where he secured a rails racing position when entering the home straight the first time around from where he maintained a solid gallop for the balance of the trip.

“He’s one of those dogs who needs to be cuddled up early. He needs a fortuitous early run to find the rail (from trap 4) and once he does I would expect him to run on strongly. We’re happy with him going into Friday,” advised his trainer’s partner Paul Freeman.

The Turnwald kennel also qualified Iris Allen ($18) who pressed on solidly for her 5.75 length heat second behind Mija Sydney. She had compiled a sound staying record when she raced on the Victorian tracks.

“She’s a one pace little grinder who will keep up the same pace throughout. She needs to trap with them (from trap 6) and get herself into a handy early position. She’s all good following her heat,” said Freeman. The kennel also provides the first reserve Tranquil Blossom ($26) whose staying record over the 755m cannot be lightly disregarded after she occupied the midfield pack in her heat. Don’t forget she’s a Group 1 755m winner at this venue.

Mija Sydney Cawbourne Taylor Translator
Mija Sydney (left) following his Wanganui Stayers Cup heat win – she’ll clash with Cawbourne Taylor and Translator in the final

The pair of Matt Roberts trained finalists will load away into the inside two traps on Friday. Cawbourne Taylor ($16) will step from the ace trap as she looks to inject excitement from there by using her tear away pace making tactics like she did in her heat. She built a decent early race lead, which was aided by interference behind her.

However she got a severe case of the wobbles during the run home which ultimately saw her winding up a 9.25 length heat fourth to Mija Sydney. “She has drawn to lead them early which isn’t ideal in having to sustain that over the entire 755m. Hopefully she’s fitter as her heat was only her second race over the distance and hopefully she doesn’t hit the wall on Friday. She has come through her heat great,” advised Roberts.

Verta Bale ($18) raced handy to the pace all the way in her heat, gamely sticking to her task which saw her being rewarded with her heat second behind Dusty Gambler. She has drawn (trap 2) to deliver a similar handy to the pace effort in the final. “She showed up early in her heat and hopefully she slots into a handy early position. She seems to be relishing the longer races and she’s all ready to go again on Friday,” Roberts said.

The Dave and Jean Fahey kennels are represented by three finalists in this decider. Their ultra consistent Group race stayer Translator ($9) spearheads their team. She was brave, really brave in her heat after this noted railer was required to hop away from the eight trap in her heat.

She settled back in the field from where she gradually improved. She was sighted putting in some big late bounds which carried her into her heat third 8.25 lengths astern of Mija Sydney. Another bold effort can be expected from her after she exits from trap five here. “All of our runners has drawn badly and will need a lot of luck. Translator is our best chance – she tries real hard in her race,” said Dave Fahey.

Opawa Abby Joy ($26) is developing into a handy looking stayer. She lobbed handy to the early pace in her heat from where she whacked away soundly over the balance of the journey which saw her winding up a 12.25 length heat fourth to Dusty Gambler. She must push forward early from the seven trap. “Her draw is no good for her. Somehow she must get herself into a handy early position,” added Fahey.

Geez if Pirate’s Curse ($26) ever decided to put himself into early contention, then he would be a stayer that would give fields a real decent shake up. The Duke Of Edinburgh Silver Collar finalist bided himself in the rear group from where he unleashed late which saw him booking his final field position via his 9.25 length heat third to Dusty Gambler. Drawing out in trap eight can possibly assist him here. “Who knows what he’ll do? Maybe his draw can help him. All three of our stayers are all set to go,” advised Fahey.

The Bill Hodgson prepared second reserve Nitehawk Rose ($21) was resuming from a spell in her heat. She didn’t receive any racing favours whatsoever during the early stages of her heat when she was impeded. It was the first occasion in six 755m outings that this girl didn’t return to the post race podium.

Pawnote. It’s a real handy looking field of stayers who will contest the race 7 First Security 645m event. It contains a mixture of proven, hardened stayers clashing with some potential exciting up and coming stayers.

Tranquil Blossom for Angela Turnwald and the Bill Hodgson prepared Nitehawk Rose bring vast staying experience into this event. Adding the intrigue factor to this field is the staying debut by the multiple Group race winning Cawbourne Krusty from the Matt Roberts kennels. Roberts has accepted with four stayers for this event, while the Turnwald kennels provides another two contenders.

Tranquil Blossom Nitehawk Rose Cawbourne Krusty
The proven stayers Tranquil Blossom (left) and Nitehawk Rose takes on the staying debutante runner Cawbourne Krusty (right) in the race 7 645m event

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 10/08/2018 9:22:11 AM

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