THE EARLY Bird might be dropping back to a winning weight when the Gavin Groth-trained gelding runs in today’s Yellowglen Benchmark 65 Handicap (1600m) at Tamworth.
The five-year-old gelding had 59 when he contested a Benchmark 55 Handicap over 1600m at Tamworth at his last run on May 19.
He was beaten around a head by the George Woodward-trained Minimos that day.
“I’ve given him a bit of a gap between runs,” Groth said.
“I backed off on him after that last run for a few days.
“He tried his backside off in that and was a bit off for a few days.
“So I gave him a little break.
“He had his last bit of work this morning,” he said on Saturday.
“I was really pleased with his work.
“He’ll have 54.5kg on Tuesday too with Sue’s claim.
“He has drawn the widest but that’s only eight in this smaller field.
“So he shouldn’t be too far back, a couple of lengths or so.”
The Early Bird is one of those horses every trainer loves.
He always tries.
“If he doesn’t pick up a cheque there’s always a good reason – he’s had a bad run or had no luck,” Groth said.
“He just tries his heart out for me. I know he’ll give me a good sight.
Groth had a busy weekend.
He took two of his stable to Mallawa Picnics on Saturday where he thought Macho Nacho was well placed but missed out.
On Sunday Groth was in Gulgong where he also thought Mount Annan was in with a good chance but the gelding finished sixth to the Fiona Watts-trained Prattler.
Today he has The Early Bird, who won the Warialda Cup four runs back, and is certain he will be charging home.
Hardest to beat might be Minimos and Flying Fuji.
The Ross Stitt-trained Flying Fuji ran in the Jardel Cup at Tamworth two starts back, finishing 10th to Belannoro.
Minimos has not started since his Tamworth win and he also drops 2.5kg, with Greg Ryan to ride for his Walcha stable which also has Kay Bea’s Lad (R4) and Safe World (R6) engaged.
Both will be ridden by Marlon Dolendo.