Minx flying as she chases first Plate
Albany trainer Mark Nelson believes Secret Minx is primed to deliver him his first victory in Sunday’s $100,000 Tabtouch Fitzpatrick Plate (1230m) at Percy Spencer Racecourse.
Usually run on Easter Sunday alongside the Albany Cup, this season’s Fitzpatrick Plate field has attracted a terrific field of 15 runners from the 33 initial nominations received, with five local runners in the mix.
Brilliant metropolitan sprinter Majinka heads the field for leading trainer Adam Durrant and shares top weight at 59.5kg with 2014 Fitzpatrick Plate winner Corporate Larrikin.
Secret Minx has not raced since last season’s Fitzpatrick Plate in April, when she finished sixth behind My Greek Boy.
The six-year-old mare has won two 1000m barrier trials in the lead-up to resuming and boasts a brilliant fresh record of three wins from four first-up attempts.
“This is the best I can get her,” Nelson said. “I’m not worried about going in without a run.
“This is her being really fresh.
“She has again been set for this race after last year and I think she is in better shape to win it this time around.
“There are a stack of dangers starting with last year’s winner but you can probably name eight that are live chances.”
Top senior jockey Glenn Smith, who was aboard in her latest three-length trial victory, takes the ride from barrier 18 with 57kg on his back.
“There is going to be plenty of speed in the race no doubt, but we’ll be going across,” Nelson said.
“On speed is where we want to be and I’m confident she can be in the finish.”
Talented galloper Run Liam Run will also start first-up in the feature race after being scratched at the barriers back on Boxing Day and then running behind Secret Minx in last week’s trial.
Prepared by Lyn Kiddle, the 2016 Fitzpatrick Plate winner carries 56.5kg and Lucy Warwick will be aboard for the first time.
Warwick has never ridden Run Liam Run in any of his 19 career starts or barrier trials.
Kiddle said the explosive sprin-ter had worked well in the lead-up to his resumption. Last year’s wi-nner, My Greek Boy, will again be out to achieve the rare feat of back-to-back triumphs for local trainer Steve Wolfe after drawing gate eight.
Peter Knuckey replaces Shaun McGruddy on the rising sprinter, who finished third behind Big Caroline at his last start in Albany.
Des Attwell’s Long Knife and Bindaree Lady for veteran local trainer Dixie Solly are also in the final field of 15.
Naturaliste, trained by Kevin Allen, along with Wolfe’s Minus Looks and Solly’s Blizzard Express are emergencies in the race.
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