Fly Too High can go higher

MASTER Newcastle trainer Paul Perry believes Fly Too High can go a lot further - in distance and class - than winning a maiden at Broadmeadow today.

Fly Too High and Freshman will represent Perry in the maiden plate over 2300 metres.

The stablemates are on different ends of the racing scale, to say the least.

Freshman, a four-year-old, has had 30 starts for 12 placings and is yet to win.

Fly Too High is a three-year-old gelding by More Than Ready from the mare Palatious, which is by the staying sire Semipalatinsk.

He has had just five starts for a second, and Perry is sure his best is yet to come now that he is getting to an appropriate trip.

Last start Fly Too High finished second over 2100 metres at Gosford on December 6 in a field of six with the same weight he carries today.

"I don't mind him at all," Perry said of Fly Too High.

"He is bred to stay, really stay. He will only improve with time and distance, but this race on Wednesday looks nice for him. He has raced here at Newcastle and the long home straight at the end of a staying journey should be his cup of tea."

Perry's new stable jockey, Ronnie Stewart, rides Fly Too High and promising apprentice Rachel Murray takes the sit on Freshman.

Freshman, which has run third at three of its past four starts, has 59 kilograms.

"Rachel's three-kilo claim will help him," Perry said.

"Freshman is frustrating, yet he keeps running honestly.

"You know he will try, but the other bloke is showing that he just might go on and in better races."

Another Newcastle trainer hoping for success on his home course at the big Boxing Day meeting is Steven Hodge.

Hodge had a winner with the well-tried Control Agent at Taree on Sunday and is aiming for two straight wins with Winter Reign in the 1400-metre benchmark 60.

Winter Reign is a recent addition to the Hodge yard and, at her last start for him, scored at Newcastle on December 8 over 1400 metres. Ridden well by Hodge's apprentice, Alex Stokes, the four-year-old stormed home.

Stokes had the mare in sixth spot at the 800 metres, and by the time the field turned for home, Winter Reign was in fourth spot.

"It was a real good ride and I am hoping for the same result on Wednesday," Hodge said.

"Winter Reign has continued to improve and this is a race that looks likely to suit her again."

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