TARA Brave might be meeting his adversaries worse off in the weights in today’s $15,000 XXXX Gold Benchmark 60 Handicap (1900m) at Armidale but he has one thing in his favour, reckons his Moree trainer Peter Sinclair.
“He handles the track,” Sinclair said.
“Knowing that he does is a big plus.
“And he’s coming off a good win at Gunnedah.”
In fact, Tara Brave has won two of his last three starts since Sinclair jumped him up in distance.
He won his only previous start at Armidale over 1900m on November 10 before he was a close second to Circle Of Fame over 2100m at Tamworth.
“He carried 59kg when he won at Armidale in the mud too,” Sinclair said.
“He’s got 59kg again but he does meet some of these much worse in the weights.”
The Early Bird had 57.5kg at Gunnedah when we won with 57kg but he stayed on 57.5kg and has Sue Bigg’s 2kg claim as well.
That’s a big swing and Gavin Groth, who prepares The Early Bird, hopes he can salute for a seventh time today.
“He is well placed,” Groth said.
“Tara Brave will be the one to beat and did beat us (1.3lens) at Gunnedah.
“But that was his (The Early Bird) first time at the distance and he’ll be competitive.”
Consistent Tara Brave will also reunite with Darren Jones, who has been on him his last three starts.
Sinclair reckons all three of those efforts have been outstanding displays and hopes for a repeat to notch a third win in four starts today.
Been Awakened chases a second successive win when the four-year-old mare contests today’s Tooheys New Benchmark 70 Handicap (1400m).
She is coming off a good win in a benchmark 55 1400m handicap at Tamworth last time out.
“She’ll race well,” her Tamworth trainer Mark Mason said. “She’ll only have 54kg and the young girl (Kassie Furness) will claim 2kg as well.
“She’s done all right since Tamworth too.”
He’s hoping Been Awakened can continue her success after Emotional Outburst disappointed in Friday’s Mudgee Cup, finishing unplaced behind the David Van Dyke-trained Ward and Craig Martin’s Brave Ali.
“He just didn’t dash,” Mason said after he gained a rails run at the top of the straight.
He is thinking about a possible northern adventure with him because there are no more distance races for him in the HNWRA area.