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Swoop­ing style suits smar t Sun­craze for High­way de­but

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - By RAY HICKSON

TRAINER Me­lanie O’Gor­man isn’t about to mess with promis­ing three-year-old Sun­craze’s rac­ing style just yet but is con­vinced he’s not a one di­men­sional sprinter.

Sun­craze makes his city de­but in the Tony Sleiman Me­moral High­way Hand­i­cap ( 1100m) at Rand­wick to­mor­row and O’Gor­man is keen to see how he mea­sures up.

The geld­ing re­sumed with an eye-catch­ing sec­ond on the first day of the Scone car­ni­val but re­mains at a sprint trip de­spite his trainer’s view he’ll even­tu­ally ex­cel over fur­ther.

“I’d like to give him a few runs shorter dis­tances then stretch him out later on the in the prep and see how far he can run,” O’Gor­man said.

“We’ll know more as we step him up in trip but I’m not in any rush to do that be­cause he’s a fast horse and he proved that at Scone.

“If he can run 1400m or a mile and the tempo of the race is slower then I don’t ex­pect him to be back last and be giv­ing away such a lead.

“It’d be nice to mid­field and trav­el­ling rather than out the back door.”

Sun­craze was right back and very wide when they turned at Scone and his ef­fort to run Cado­gan, who gained a glo­ri­ous rails run, to less than length was out­stand­ing.

O’Gor­man said he was pretty fit for that run, know­ing it would be a tougher Class 1 event than stan­dard, and has come through in fine style.

He gal­loped on the course proper at Tam­worth Tues­day to com­plete his prepa­ra­tion for Syd­ney.

“I had him fairly wound up Scone, I put a lot of work into him for that run so I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of im­prove­ment but the im­por­tant thing is he’s pulled up well,” she said.

“I know he’s only a Class 1 horse still but his run at Scone proved that wor­thy of run in a High­way.”

O’Gor­man, who also has lightly raced six-year-old Trustee en­gaged in the High­way, been ear­marked for a High­way race since his de­but win at Dubbo.

He’s been beaten favourite, fin­ish­ing sec­ond, in all three starts since.

“All along I had al­ways said to his owner that these races are there for coun­try horses and we should make the most of them when we get to that level,” she said.

“He prob­a­bly should be a Class 2 horse by now at least.

“He’s a lovely horse, he’s so con­sis­tent and al­ways puts in a good ef­fort.”

Pro­lific High­way win­ning trainer Matthew Dale is con­fi­dent some race ex­pe­ri­ence at High­way level will stand Clip­per in good stead for to­mor­row’s task.

The filly was placed two High­way events at Rand­wick ear­lier this year af­ter kick­ing off her ca­reer with back to back coun­try wins.

Dale said Clip­per has ma­tured with the break and had this High­way event in mind for some time.

“Un­til we get to the races we won’t know the level of im­prove­ment she’s made be­cause she doesn’t do a great deal home,” Dale said.

“I’m happy with her, she’s had a nice bal­anced prepa­ra­tion and two main­te­nance jump outs where she’s not asked to do a lot.

“From a pro­file point of view you’d like to think she’ll im­prove hav­ing had one prepa­ra­tion and she’s shown she’s up to that class.”

Dale said he’ll be hop­ing jockey Tim Clark can give Clip­per plenty of cover in to­mor­row’s race and ex­pose her for a late dash af­ter be­ing a sit­ting shot in her first High­way at­tempt.

Mean­while, Dale said un­beaten three-year-old Il Ban­dito is pen­cilled in to make his city de­but in a 1000m High­way event at Rand­wick on June 8.

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