AT 1600m, today’s Burke & Smyth Real Estate Class 2 Handicap is the longest on Tamworth Jockey Club’s five-race card.
And around 3pm today, trainers of all six starters in that event will no doubt pull out their trusty pocket trannies to listen to the other longest event, the nation-stopping $6.2 million Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Making up the Tamworth 1600m field this afternoon will be Sue Grills’s Manner Ridge (Darren Jones), Leon Davies’ Blinkin Ferocious (Jake Hull), Craig Martin’s Go Go Anna (Matthew Powell), Lesley Jeffriess’ Takiri (Sophie Young), Gavin Groth’s Baabulu (Sue Bigg) and David Hatch with bottom weight Northern Mark (Cameron Lee).
One of the most important aspects of being a trainer is their level of horse sense, giving them the ability to calculate what their charges need to be peaked for a race.
And while the handful of local trainers are confident they have their starters 1600m-fit for Tamworth, they’ve also done their homework on what should win today’s feature at Flemington.
Grills considers Manner Ridge a “rough each way hope” at Tamworth.
“He races a bit fierce, won’t settle. We’ve changed his work pattern though - that might make a difference,” she said.
“I think Seville can do it in the Cup.
“I liked his Cox Plate run, and he won the Metropolitan well the start before.
“And I’d like to see Hughie (jockey Hugh Bowman) win one.”
Leon Davies’ Blinkin Ferocious, a winner over this trip, will be going to the paddock after today.
“The race isn’t over strong, and he’s back to the mile which suits.
“I think Fiorente can win the Cup.
“All four back this prep have been good. He had a solid hit-out in the Cox Plate, and Gai’s (trainer Gai Waterhouse) pretty confident.”
Martin thinks Go Go Anna may “struggle a bit second up over the mile, but could be there for a placing”.
“I like No 17 (Voleuse De Couers) in the Cup. I like her overseas form and I’ve had a bit of an association with the mare’s connections, and they’re confident.
“James McDonald (jockey) is confident too – and he’s also ridden Fiorente.”
Jeffriess said Takiri is “a good trackworker, but doesn’t produce it on the track”.
“Hopefully he can put it together this time.
“I like two in the Cup –Fiorente’s been running some good races and Dear Demi ran a strong race in the McKinnon.”
Groth’s Baabulu (a winner over 2100m) missed a couple of starts in her prep, so the mile at Tamworth will suit.
“She’s been consistent in longer races and in bit better company. She should run well.”
Groth likes Mount Athos at Flemington.
“He wasn’t far behind them (three lengths fifth) last year, and he’s being brought out here by an overseas team that seems to know what they’re doing”.
David Hatch’s Northern Mark (a winner over 2050m) “can win if he does his best on the day.”
“I like Voleuse De Couers in the Cup. She’s won two over the distance, her latest in the Irish St Leger carrying 59kg. She’ll do me,” Hatch said.