Major players gear up as spring season approaches
IT IS shaping as a spring for racing’s power players.
OTI boss Terry Henderson and Nick Williams joked after providing the quinella in a staying race at Flemington on Saturday that they might be “swapping” results in coming weeks.
Each joked they might have 14 runners each in the upcom- ing The Bart Cummings at Flemington, a race that provides the winner a free ticket into the Melbourne Cup.
The other giants are about to step up.
Darren Weir will have at least four runners in Saturday’s P B Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield and some of those will back- up in the $ 1 million Memsie Stakes at Caulfield on August 28.
Weir expects to run Black Heart Bart, Star Exhibit, Humidor and Amelia’s Star in the Lawrence, with Japanese import Tosen Stardom to run in the Memsie, at least with Black Heart Bart for company.
He said Black Heart Bart was “going great” but said the other three were a “watch and see”.
Weir played down the strength of his spring hand – although another Japanese horse will join his squad shortly – saying “there’s a few stables with as many good ones as me this spring”.
One of those is David Hayes whose top tier of spring contenders shapes every bit as strong as Weirs.
Hayes will run He’s Our Rokki, Tasbeeh and possibly Seaburge in the Lawrence and his champion filly Catchy also steps out at Caulfield on Saturday.
Hayes expects Catchy to establish near- champion status this spring but has the same fear as most other trainers – Winx, who resumes in the Warwick Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
Hayes said the Blue Diamond Stakes winner would probably take on the colts in the Caulfield Guineas.