Lou Mary, who oversees a team numbering just five, is on target for an early career highlight at Muswellbrook on Sunday thanks to a canny online bargain purchase by his partner Jamie-Lee Good.
The Scone-based trainer saddles-up the former Allan Denham trained gelding Nitride in the feature Eric “Shorty” Cribb Memorial Aberdeen Cup (1280m).
A son of All Too Hard, Nitride was bought for just $12,000 at the Inglis Digital Sale in October last year.
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Since then, Nitride has earned close to $40,000 thanks in part to his two wins at Muswellbrook in his six starts under the new management.
“I just took on my trainer’s licence last year and we thought we could help him to find his early form which he did, and probably a bit better to be honest,’’ Mary said.
“The horse is flying and he has had a really good prep for us. I think he will be very competitive on Sunday.
“It is probably his last race for the preparation and I think next preparation we will be tackling city races with him.’’
Nitride boasts a compelling set of numbers when it comes to Sunday’s assignment.
For starters he is unbeaten in both attempts at the track and distance and while going up in class from his May 23 win there, he drops from 61kg to 55kg.
“I think for myself as a trainer, keeping him over this type of distance we don’t have to overwork him,’’ Mary said.
“Carrying 55(kg) and barrier three is ideal. If he was going to Newcastle in a similar type of field and he would be carrying probably an extra 3kg so the conditions are ideal for him.’’
Nitride used to sport the famous Geoff and Beryl White colours which brings us to Mary’s other runner at Muswellbrook, Kandanga Miss.
Her fourth dam is Tristram Lady who is the mother of the White’s champion filly, Triscay, herself a daughter of their beloved Marscay. Kandanga Miss raced eight times in Queensland for her previous trainer Tony Gollan placing at half of them.
The daughter of More Than Ready was bought for $22,000, this time at Inglis’ Online sale in February and has had just the one start so far for Mary and her owners.
That was at Moree on May 20 where she finished third in a 1200m maiden.
Kandanga Miss’s Sunday engagement is in the Muswellbrook & District Workers Club Maiden (1280m) with Nitride’s jockey Jean Van Overmeire doing the steering.
“The ground might have been a bit too firm for her that day,’’ Mary said.
“The softer ground would be an advantage and I think barrier seven is a good barrier.
“We are adding a tongue-tie on her this time and she has been working very well with it on.’’
SHAYNE O’CASS’ TOP SELECTIONS
Race 4 No.2: PATAGONIAN
Paul Perry-trained galloper who continues to race well this preparation if anything his last start second at Newcastle was the campaign highlight.
Race 5 No.8: SWORDSMAN
Another Paul Perry trained gelding, this bay has only won once in 20 starts but it was here (and he bolted in). Closer than ever now.
Race 6 No.10: NITRIDE
Racing better than ever and what’s more he is unbeaten in two runs at the track and distance. Drops 6kg on his recent win here.
Race 4: 2, 4
Race 5: 4, 8
Race 6: 7, 8, 10
Race 7: 1, 5, 8
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
Tommy Berry is going to forego his day off to go up to Muswellbrook to ride Repeal and Ranges for Peter and Paul Snowden.
Asherla is a Kris Lees-trained filly by Astern who was tipped out after an encouraging first campaign which consisted off back to back seconds, of them here on a Heavy 8, the other at Port Mac. Trialled up well for the return and barrier one should count for something. Peter and Paul Snowden target this race every year; it means a lot to them, so they’ve sent two horses – the best of them on paper is the Capitalist colt Repeal who bolted in at Pakenham on May 13. In Spades is a real improver here and could easily place.
Elusive Babbz is a son of dual Doncaster winner Sacred Falls and was foaled in New Zealand. He was bred by top kiwi trainer Tony Pike. Elusive Babbz is trained here and has done some good things in his three starts namely two third and a fourth. First-up so market watch crucial. Ditto that for the Sam Kavanagh trained debutant Anchor’s Point whose three trials have contained merit to varying degrees. Koorabel Kicks has pace and thus should be prominent for a long way.
Bet: Elusive Babbz each-way.
Manco Man failed to run a place in his three runs at the first preparation but he showed improvement along the way – his best run was his last run. He hails from an astute Hawkesbury stable and Aaron Bullock is a key booking. Miss Efficiency is building up to win. The Jeremy Gask trained mare is fourth run into the prep and comes off consecutive P.B’s. Impossible to leave out on the score of that last start third here. Former Tony Gollan trained mare Kandanga sent out the right signs at her first run for the new camp.
Bet: Manco Man win quinella 3,5, box trifecta 1,3,4,5.
Patagonian (a son of a mare named Little Black Fish) has raced well throughout his long campaign so much so that you could make a case that the best run of all was at his May 22 start at Newcastle where took a lot of ground away from the winner in a 900m BM64. Got the winning draw. Remorseless has four starts for the Snowdens fir a win (fell in) and two thirds. He is with Cameron Crockett now who has found the perfect race for the recent Scone trial winner. Festival Of Light has raced six times first-up for four wins and a second.
Bet: Patagonian win, box First 4 Nos. 1,2,3,4.
Swordsman is a real chance to deliver Paul Perry back-to-back races. This stablemate of the aforementioned Patagonian has only won once in his 20 starts but importantly, that win was here at Muswellbrook albeit with four other unsuccessful visits. Perry couldn’t have found a more apt race, it’s up to the horse now. Mr Cruise is a very fast racehorse. Chances are he will be in front with 100m to go but maybe the last 50m is the query? Big Happiness was $5 into $3.50 first-up and absolutely bolted in. That was the first run at this track and distance.
Bet: Swordsman win.
Nitride was bought for $12,000 online and has raced six times since for Lou Mary winning close enough to $40,000. The son of All Too Hard is unbeaten in both runs at the Muswellbrook 1280m; the same scenario as today’s feature Aberdeen Cup. Up in class but drops 6kg on the win here 14 days ago. Tommy Berry is at Muswellbrook to ride Snowden pair, Repeal (race 1), Ranges here in the Cup named after one of Peter Snowden’s great mates so there is serious incentive to win. Leave Me Some could be the one to finish over the top.
Bet: Nitride win, box trifecta 4,7,8,10.
Robert Thompson knows how to get the best out of the flashy chestnut Forbidden Palace, a horse who basically has to be left alone early and have his final charge timed to the minute. Take note that they (horse and rider) should have probably won here the last time they combined. Confessed is a lightly-raced Kris Lees filly who likewise gets back but can really power up late. Second-up, nice big track, must include. Charlton Park was runner-up in a TAB Highway last start remember.