Softer Albany track suits Friar’s Gift

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Albany jockey Mitchell Pateman riding trackwork last month.
Camera IconAlbany jockey Mitchell Pateman riding trackwork last month. Credit: Laurie Benson

Rising four-year-old Friar’s Gift rates a strong chance in today’s $22,000 Skyracing.Tv Provincial Championship Series Heat (1240m) at Percy Spencer Racecourse, according to co-trainer Matt Giadresco.

The heat of the annual Skyracing.Tv series headlines the final meeting of the 2016-17 Great Southern season and Friar’s Gift is one of five runners from the Bunbury stables of father-and-son combination Matt and Peter Giadresco.

An eye-catching winner in Albany three starts ago, Friar’s Gift finished sixth to Wicked Hunter in Pinjarra and then was fifth in another heat of this series held in York on April 17, beaten ¾ of a length behind Scottish Trader.

The talented Blackfriars gelding will carry 58kg with Jason Whiting aboard from barrier six and Giadresco said he was confident of a strong showing.

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“I’m hoping he will run well, he won well last time there,” Giadresco said.

“I was a bit disappointed on his last run but I’m expecting a good run. If he can replicate that win in Albany ... I’ve brought him back down there because he’s won on soft tracks.”

Giadresco believes consistent galloper Big Caroline is the best of his five runners across the eight-race card this afternoon.

Big Caroline trialled well behind boom sprinter State Solicitor on April 24, and with Albany apprentice Casey Hunter’s 1.5kg claim, will carry 59.5kg in the Hybla Tavern Handicap (1240m) and is the stable’s best chance.

“She trialled well and should run on,” he said.

“Caroline has got the motor, she has a bit of weight but that’s my best chance.

“She has been placed in Saturday class.”

Mighty Chance, Stormy Planet and Saint Stephen are the other Giadresco starters today.

Meanwhile, there will be three Albany runners in the $125,000 Avon Valley Toyota Northam Stakes (1100m) on Sunday with Dream Lifter, Candlelight Star and Potent Secret all engaged.

The listed sprint race is stacked full of quality with Lite’n In My Veins, Disposition, First Among Equals and Madassa among the 14 nominations.

The Paul Hunter-trained Dream Lifter has not started since his brave third carrying 59kg in the listed Bunbury Stakes (1400m) behind Man Booker.

Candlelight Star was a Saturday metropolitan winner for trainer Roy Rogers before finishing eighth to My Greek Boy in the Fitzpatrick Plate on Albany Cup day.

Stablemate Potent Secret failed to carry the heavy 63kg impost in the Fitzpatrick Plate finishing last in the field of 15 but the speedster won the listed Summer Scorcher at Ascot in December.

Jockey Jerry Noske has jumped off Candlelight Star to ride Potent Secret, which will carry 56.5kg from barrier five, while Ben Paterson picks up the mount on the promising grey galloper who jumps from gate 10 with 55kg on his back. Dream Lifter will have to overcome his wide draw in barrier 14 and 57.5kg for leading Albany hoop Mitchell Pateman.

2016-17 Great Southern Racing Premierships

Leading Trainer

Steve Wolfe (23 wins)

Roy Rogers (15)

Mark Bairstow (12)

Paul Hunter (7)

Peter Western (6)

Jonathon Jachmann (6)

Leading Jockey

Mitchell Pateman (19 wins)

Shaun McGruddy (13)

Jason Whiting (10)

Peter Hall (10)

Glenn Smith (9)

Leading Apprentice

Casey Hunter (7 wins)

Fiona Bell (6)

Kate Witten (3)

Shelby Colgate (3)

Leading Horse

My Greek Boy (5 wins)

Daisy Express (4)

Portonian (3)

Kronstadt (3)

Hostwin Pegasus (3)

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