Garth Puller has been cautious and down-played Georgina Rose after her recent wins. Unbeaten in both, she was a tad lucky last time with runner-up Accidental Tourist finding traffic but apprentice Luke Ferraris picking a clear run up the outside rail. But just where Georgina Rose is headed over the next few months could be answered on the turf at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Sunday.
Both of her victories have come over 1200m, but judged on pedigree the step up to 1600m on Sunday could prove closer to her optimum trip. Michael Roberts and Lezeanne Forbes have contributed to keeping the Group Wreck International Non-Ferrous Beach Beauty Mile alive, saddling two and three runners respectively in the seven-horse field.
The pick of the Roberts pair could be Jack’s Bird. She has been rested but ran a cracker in a strong feature at the end of last season and will be a big runner even if short of a run. Stable companion Winter Season has smart form to date. She has also been rested and steps up in trip and must also have a chance.
Two of Forbes’s runners are making their debuts in a high-class field and given that they are both declared in steel shoes, the exposed Mary O is the obvious stable elect. Mary O was narrowly beaten last start and although she does face a little stronger this time around, she is having her third run after a break and that could give her the edge on the Roberts runners.
Tony Rivalland’s stable has turned the corner of late and Exclusive Quantity is on track for his fourth victory after running the progressive Ultra Mahnus to within two lengths at his last start.
He does step up in trip but has smart form in useful company and is well weighted in this contest. His two biggest dangers could come in the form of Twice As Smart and Arianos Shadow.
Wendy Whitehead’s yard is also in good form and Twice As Smart has useful form in strong company. She is both course and distance suited and jumps from the best draw. Arianos Shadow showed signs of her best form last outing and from a good draw could finally get off the mark for Frank Robinson.
With most of his roadblocks seemingly out of the way, Duncan Howells is starting to turn the corner with a treble last month and the Ashburton trainer put it into perspective. “On any given day there are over 120 runners, so the chances of winning one race, let alone three takes a lot of luck.
He will be hoping that his luck holds for the last two on the card.
Love Theme has been much improved with cheek pieces and with a stronger rider aboard this time around she can go one better but at least should be right there again. If Love Theme cannot oblige then maiden winners Mystic Dreamer and Soiree from the Corrine Bestel yard will be threats along with Bling A Ding Ding and Coyote Girl who made a fair local debut and boast steady Highveld form.
Howells saddles Rocket Fire who was a touch disappointing last run. He looks held of form but he races in a tongue-tie for the first time which could make a difference. Mutawaary had to play second fiddle to the Howell’s trained Coldhardcash last week but has been holding form and could be thereabouts again. Of the balance, Blaze Of Silk comes form an in form stable and goes well over course and distance while Royal Rustler has shown his best form on the poly but has not been far back of late.
By Andrew Harrison