MISSING In Action faces a new test when he lines up in today’s $15,000 Noelene Martin Memorial Benchmark 56 Handicap (2100m) at Tamworth.
The former Victorian is yet to win for his new Tamworth stable but his globetrotting trainer Sue Grills is hoping he can follow up some good Brisbane form and win today’s feature race.
The gelding is the only male in today’s racing picture too.
Leanne Henry will ride the gelding for his female trainer in a race named in honour of the late Noelene Martin, a former TJC committeewoman and club member, on the Ladies Day card.
Grills, who is coming off a brilliant two-state double with Preparation (Brisbane) and Tree Fern (Sydney) on Wednesday, laughed about the female connection.
“It would be nice to win that race,” Grills said.
“He’s been up north and run a couple of good races up there too.”
That included a last-start fourth at Eagle Farm last Saturday and Grills is hoping he can back up six days later.
“I think he will back up,” she said. “It’s always a bit of a gamble but he’s a gelding and it shouldn’t worry him too much.
“He did have a pretty tough run up there but he seems to have come through it okay.”
Missing In Action is a five-year-old son of Cox Plate winner Savabeel raced by Sue’s husband, John Grills.
He’s won two of his 19 starts and notched one for Grills at Armidale before she slipped him up to Brisbane.
She bought him at a tried horse sale in Melbourne and thinks he might win a few more yet.
“I’ll give him a break soon,” she said.
It’s been a good 12 months or so for her.
She became the first female trainer to win a HNWRA trainers’ premiership last season and will collect that award at the Armidale meeting on October 27.
On Wednesday she trained her first two-state double, although she had netted a metro double in Brisbane.
Preparation will come home from Brisbane tomorrow but most likely go back up soon while she is undecided about the immediate starts for Tree Fern and Usain Prince, who had no luck when fifth at Canterbury on Wednesday.