Local mare primed for big first-up run
Young Albany trainer Liam O’Loughlin is confident his progressive mare Prix D’Excellence can give a big sight first-up as she begins her new campaign at Percy Spencer Racecourse on Sunday.
Prix D’Excellence will resume in the $30,000 Tabtouch Regional Championship The Road To Ascot (1230m), which headlines the opening day of the season at Albany Racing Club on Sunday.
A near-capacity field of 15 runners are engaged in the regional championship heat, with the first three across the line guaranteed a start in the $100,000 series final at Ascot on December 1.
Despite being placed at just one of three first-up attempts, Prix D’Excellence is working well and O’Loughlin predicts a strong return to racing.
“She is going as good as she needs to be,” he said.
“I’ve put the blinkers on and she will give a sight, but as the distance goes up she will only improve.
“Her main aims are trying to win back-to-back Golden Bracelets and then her grand final will be the Pearl Classic on Magic Millions day.”
Prix D’Excellence won the $35,000 Golden Bracelet, a feature race for fillies and mares in Albany last season, and will again target that race. O’Loughlin also has plans for her to run in the $80,000 WA Pearl Classic (1400m) at Pinjarra Park on February 9.
Jockey Lucas Camilleri will ride the five-year-old mare from barrier four with 57.5kg on her back in Sunday’s feature.
Leading Albany trainer Steve Wolfe will have a three-pronged attack in the same race with equal topweights Captivated Point and Mongolian Warlord engaged along with Jester Ferrari.
Captivated Point finished fourth in open company at Mt Barker first-up and will have the services of No.1 stable rider Shaun McGruddy while Mongolian Warlord resumes from a spell, but is drawn awkwardly in barrier 13.
Anna Amalia and Tranquilla Sunrise were both placed at Mt Barker on November 4 and will contest the race for trainer Roy Rogers.
The Paul Hunter-trained Sunset Pete appears to be one of the main dangers in the race after a slashing first-up run at Mt Barker and has top hoop Mitchell Pateman aboard.
The first of seven races starts at 1.39pm, with the regional championship heat set down for 4.30pm.
CAMERON NEWBOLD’S ALBANY SELECTIONS
Race 1: Highfriar
Race 2: Round The Point
Race 3: Gunflint
Race 4: Tango Ora
Race 5: Messiah
Race 6: Captivated Point
Race 7: Step Right Up
Best Bet: Gunflint
Value: Step Right Up
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