Cox Plate-winning trainer Gary Hennessy is still getting over the Tarzino Trophy disaster which has all but wrecked his Melbourne Cup plans for Ocean Emperor, pictured.
Hennessy slammed jockey Shaun McKay for changing race tactics and has sacked him for Saturday’s Gr. 1 Windsor Park Plate at Hastings.
“I drummed into him what I wanted three weeks before the race and then he goes out and decides to lead.”
Hennessy wanted McKay to to sit off the pace and pounce in the home straight.
“Why lead in a Gr1 fresh-up, ” he said. ‘He was supposed to be in the Underwood at Caulfield but without a Gr1 win his chances of making the field are slim.”
Hennessy has replaced McKay with Mark Hills, who has won three times on Ocean Emperor
Johno Benner is delighted with the way his pair, Scott Base and Wyndspelle, have prepared for the race.
“Scott Base has benefited from natural improvement while Wyndspelle will parade in great order. I can’t fault either of my horses.”
Tarzino winner Melody Belle is yet to prove herself over the mile but apart from that trainer Jamie Richards is thrilled at the way she has scrubbed up after the Tarzino.
Richards, fit again after being treated for an abdominal problem, is banking on an economical ride from Shafiq Rusof to ensure he comfortably covers the mile.
Rusof starts a fortnight’s suspension after the weekend. Another group-winning cheque would come in handy then..
Te Akau is also represented by Our Abbadean, but her main target is the Livamol in a fortnight.
Close Up clocked good time in his semi-final track trial. He will be ridden by Leith Innes for the first time. He and stablemate Seventh Up are paying 25s on the futures market.
The Baker pair of Lizzie l’Amour and Francaletta are attractively framed at 10s and 18s. Francaletta, whose class has waned a touch, tore up the Cambridge track with some excellent work. She could be the oddsmaker.
Futures pacemakers: Hiflyer $4.20 Melody Belle $4.50, Scott Base $5.80, Savvy Coup $8.50.
1: Mental Telepathy, Gorbachev, Charlie Horse
2: Cavallo Veloce, Cutadeel, King Louis
3: Power of Strength, Thomas Aquinas, Langakawi
4: Scandolo, Watch This Space, Indecision
5: Avantage, Stella Noire, Xpression.
6: Podrivina, Play The Field, Danger Dee.
7: Big Mike, Nymph Monte, Ladies First
8: Scott Base, Hiflyer, Melody Belle
9: Mongolian Marshal, Flamingo, Sheriff