ARMIDALE RACE PREVIEW MATT JONES’ BEST BETS
SHANE Edmonds is setting Mishani Stealth for another string of country cups and it all starts today in an open handicap over 1300m which the trainer says he can win.
And it would be some relief for the Inverell horseman who has had the eight-year-old since March without success in 10 starts.
But the horse has placed five times including runner-up finishes in the Gunnedah Cup and Moree Cup.
“He should have won an extra $40,000 or $50,000 last preparation and he should have an extra five wins to his name,” Edmonds said. “The stable’s had so much bad luck in the past six months. We haven’t been able to break that hoodoo of running second and third all the time.
“For a small stable, it’s been crazy. We just need a few wins to give us a bit of a kick.”
Edmonds is getting Mishani Stealth ready for races such as the Mudgee Cup and his hometown cup, which he’s won two years running with Finishing Card.
Mishani Stealth is out to emulate his stablemate and will take some beating today despite drawing wide.
He hasn’t raced since September but Edmonds has kept him in work and he’s rock-hard fit.
“He’s definitely up to the cups grade. He was unlucky not to win the Gunnedah and Moree Cups,’’ he said. “He’s a good horse.
“I’m not sure if we’ll go forward or back with him. If there’s plenty of speed early, we’ll take a sit just in behind them but if there isn’t any he can lead. If I wanted him to, he could lead.
“He’s very adaptable. He can lead a race or come from behind.”
Edmonds said it took him a while to figure out the son of Oratorio when he came to him this year from Queensland.
But after seeing how highly strung the horse was at trackwork, he decided to keep him away from the track and he’s since become a more relaxed individual.
“When you get him to the races he’s a totally different horse,’’ Edmonds said. “He’s so quiet and keeps all his energy for the race.
“He can definitely win at Armidale. His work has been great over the past couple of weeks and he’s as good if not better than any of these horses he is up against.
“He’s come back really well, better than when I first got him in March.” Edmonds only trains for owner Mike Crooks and a number of his horses’ names start with Mis- hani — taken from the first two letters of his name and his daughter, Shani.
Meanwhile, trainer Stephen Gleeson will be hoping the Armidale track stays bone dry in the lead-up to today’s race against Mishani Stealth. He has Pippi’s Pride in the same race who is coming off a fourth-placed finish behind Puzzling Wonder, also lining up in today’s race.
Despite being a veteran of 49 starts, the seven-year-old hates any give in the ground.
“He’s quite capable and is right there with those top-rated ones,” Gleeson said. “He just needs a firm track. On firm surfaces he’s run some blinders. I think Armidale gives him a chance and he can reverse the results against Puzzling Wonder.
“If there’s a bit of speed on, which it looks like there will be, he’ll hit the line hard.”
Mishani Stealth is ready to win, according to trainer Shane Edmonds. Picture: Annette Dew