Attwell says emerging pair in the mix
Albany trainer Des Attwell is expecting further improvement out of both Long Knife Brother and Lady Stingray as he launches a dual attack on the John Currie Handicap (1100m) at Mt Barker Turf Club tomorrow.
Attwell has just the two runners on tomorrow’s seven-race card but remains confident both are winning chances in the field of 10.
Long Knife Brother was an impressive winner first-up at Mt Barker last month, coming from last in a small field to score his second career win.
The four-year-old has produced two solid runs since, running fourth to Wild Fusion over 1450m and then finishing third to Notta Mocha in Albany last week.
Attwell has added blinkers to Long Knife Brother for his fourth start this campaign and Natasha Faithfull retains the mount.
“I’ve put a set of blinkers on which should sharpen him up,” Attwell said.
“It should make him focus better and not be looking around at the other horses, it should make a huge difference.”
Speedy type Lady Stingray resumed last week in the same race as her stablemate, leading for apprentice Shelby Colage before tiring in the home straight to run sixth beaten 2¼ lengths.
The five-year-old mare has won two of her eight starts and will need to overcome a wide gate but Attwell has gain the services of top hoop Daniel Staeck.
“She was a bit underdone, that was her problem,” Attwell said.
“A senior rider will certainly help and she will definitely improve fitness wise.
“I’ll be happy if they run one-two but Lady Stingray has the wide barrier so I’m leaning towards Long Knife Brother.”
Lady Stingray will jump from barrier nine with 56kg on her back and will appreciate the drop back to 1100m according to Attwell.
Magic Opus will have her first start for trainer Peter Western in same race tomorrow.
The former Robert and Todd Harvey-trained mare has been ultra-consistent with eight placings and a win from 15 starts.
Last-start York winner Hitchiker steps up from maiden grade for Boyanup trainer Tom Widdeson while leading local trainer Steve Wolfe has Poldark’s Girl and Diraja Jewel engaged.
Meanwhile Albany mare Prix D’Excellence will contest Saturday’s $100,000 Jungle Dawn Classic (1400m) at Ascot on day three of the Masters carnival.
The Liam O’Loughlin-trained galloper has drawn gate nine and will be ridden by Lucas Camilleri after running fourth first-up in Albany last month.
Star three-year-old Lordhelpmerun will be spelled after Wolfe elected not to nominate him for the listed Sir Ernest Lee Steere Classic (1400m) on Saturday.
Wolfe has Minus Looks as his sole runner on the big Ascot card.
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