CRAIG Martin will debut a bright young prospect, with the horse’s jockey making a belated return, when Tamworth Jockey Club stages an eight-race meeting on Friday.
Washington George makes his racing debut in the opening race, the $20,000 Carlton Mid Maiden Plate (1000m), with Jessica Drury in the saddle.
Drury has not ridden for a couple of years and has just the one ride on Washington George.
They jump from barrier five.
“Jess is making a comeback,” Martin confirmed.
“Been riding work for a month or so. I honestly don’t know how long it is since she rode but I suppose it would be a couple of years.”
Washington George is a three-year-old gelding son of Arlington and raced by Terry Burke and John Smyth.
“He’s been going all right,” Martin said.
“However he’s going straight to the paddock after this. He’s just turned three and is still a baby. Had a soft trial and we thought we’d throw him in here and see how he goes. He’s going to be a nice horse later on and has had a pretty long prep. We broke him in and had a prep before we tipped him out and brought him back again.
“We’ll see how he goes but I think they will be a bit sharp for him.”
Martin does think he will show a bit early from the good barrier while Drury is primed to make a major return to race riding.
Her return will also enable Martin to enlarge his stable, which numbers just six. He has not had a regular work rider for a long while.
Meanwhile, Assurity returns to her home track ready to take advantage of a heavy surface.
The Sue Grills-trained mare has drawn well in the $20,000 Allsopp Signs Benchmark 64 Handicap (1400m). Her trainer expects her to show more than she did at her last start in a Highway Handicap at Randwick.
“She did nothing in Sydney,” Grills admitted of a disappointing seven-length eighth to Care To Think.
That had followed a 5.2-length fifth to Shoreline in the $50,000 Mother’s Gift at Grafton during the recent Grafton carnival. “She just likes a soft track,” Grills said. “They put up a Heavy 8 in Sydney but it ended up being pretty good down there.”