Buoyant Bairstow hungry for more Great Southern success

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

In-form Bunbury trainer Mark Bairstow is confident of continuing his golden run in the Great Southern this season when he saddles up five runners in Sunday afternoon’s eight-race card at Percy Spencer Racecourse.

Bairstow has made the trek over from Bunbury regularly this season with plenty of success, notching 10 winners from 16 runners, and sits second behind Roy Rogers (11 wins) in the Great Southern trainers’ premiership.

Talented sprinter Niccatrice will tackle a hot field in the Pegasus Vision Handicap (1230m), with the $75,000 Fitzpatrick Plate (1230m) in April a possible target. Staying duo Daisy Express and Toned will tune up for the upcoming Esperance and Mt Barker cups by contesting the MCB Construction Handicap (1900m).

Bairstow will also start rising galloper Portonian, a last-start Mt Barker winner, in the Campbell Road Motors Handicap (1500m), which he rates hard to beat.

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“I thought Portonian stood out,” Bairstow said.

“It was a pretty strong win the other day, goes into a race not any harder than last start and I thought he was my best.”

Recent stable addition and former east coast galloper Falco will make his WA debut as well, looking well placed in the Farmers Centre Albany Handicap (1230m).

The five-year-old has had stints with trainers Joe Pride and Matthew Dale, chalking up two wins and five minor placings from 12 starts before an impressive 1000m trial effort at Belmont Park on Monday when he finished half a length behind Woodbine.

“I have been following him a bit but I felt he would go better around the track our way,” Bairstow said.

“I like the horse, he is shockingly weighted with our system, but I do expect a big run first-up.”

Top jockey Daniel Staeck, who has notched two victories with the Bairstow team this season, takes the ride on fancies Falco, Daisy Express and Niccatrice.

Leading Great Southern rider Mitchell Pateman will be aboard Portonian and Jason Whiting will link up with Toned.

The first race will begin at 1.20pm on Sunday, with the final race set down for 5.20pm.

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