Albany trainers target feature success
Albany trainers Steve Wolfe, Dixie Solly and Roy Rogers will all launch two-pronged attacks on the $100,000 Tabtouch Fitzpatrick Plate (1230m) on their home turf on Sunday, the first major feature of the Great Southern racing season.
The trio will combine for six of the 14 runners in the race as Wolfe chases a fourth Fitzpatrick Plate crown while Solly looks to add a second success and Rogers will be out to secure a maiden victory.
Wolfe will start smart pair Arrum Boy and Minus Looks in the rich sprint, a race he has won three times including the inaugural event with Boy Canny Go in 2006.
My Greek Boy was the last winner of the race in Wolfe colours in 2017 but the leading Albany trainer was confident he could add a fourth title.
“They are both definitely winning chances,” Wolfe said. “I believe both are in great form. With the top weight coming out, the weights have been raised and it’s hard to say either one is going better than the other.”
“Arrum Boy should have been closer the other day and hit the line nice.
“Minus hasn’t been beaten far this campaign and gets in well.”
Minus Looks has been placed twice in three starts this campaign, all in 72+ plus metropolitan company, and jumps from gate one for Peter Hall with 57kg on his back.
Jockey Shaun McGruddy gets back aboard four-year-old Arrum Boy who won in Albany over 1230m this preparation but has finished runner-up to Tango Ora on three occasions including at his most recent start.
Arrum Boy will need to overcome barrier eight but has a 1.5kg weight swing on rival Tango Ora after getting 56kg.
Tango Ora is the leading contender for Rogers, fresh off his third Great Southern victory this season.
Daniel Staeck retains the mount but the rising sprinter was dealt a blow drawing barrier 14 and has only raced over 1200m once previously, finishing sixth.
Proven galloper Potent Secret will have his third start in the Fitzpatrick and has 58kg top weight on his back for Randy Tan while Shady Gray for visiting trainer David Caruna also has 58kg to contend with
Solly won the 2008 edition of the race with Weekly Express and this year has impressive mare Bindaree Lady and consistent type Blizzard Express both entered.
Bindaree Lady was a terrific first-up winner in Mt Barker and has the services of Lucas Camilleri.
Champion WA jockey William Pike will be the star attraction at the Ladies Day meeting, taking five rides in a rare Great Southern appearance.
Pike will steer last start Ascot winner Neurological in the Fitzpatrick, as he chases a second success in the race having previously won on Shawaim in 2013.
Pike will be aboard strong chance Friarandice in the $35,000 Dowsetts Automotive Services Golden Bracelet (1600m) for fillies and mares will also be run at the meeting with a field of 11 engaged.
Pike will be aboard strong chance Friarandice while last year’s winner Prix D’Excellence is aiming for back-to-back wins for Liam O’Loughlin.
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