AR­MI­DALE RACE PRE­VIEW MATT JONES’ BEST BETS

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SUNDAY SPORTS - MATT JONES

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

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