NEW Broadmeadow trainer Norm Hilton is confident his stayer Carry Me Bluey will be competitive when he makes his Sydney debut tomorrow.
Call Me Bluey takes on the match-toughened Sydney staying bunch on their home turf in the $100,000 listed Australia Day Cup over 2400 metres at Warwick Farm.
‘‘Look, he did not let us down when he was racing in the winter carnival races in Brisbane last year,’’ Hilton said. ‘‘I would rate the fields he raced up there as harder than most he meets on Saturday.
‘‘There are some handy stayers, but I believe my horse will be competitive. He’s settled in well, he’s in a routine now and he seems fine.’’
Hilton, Carry Me Bluey and 11 stablemates arrived in Broadmeadow from Toowoomba on Monday.
The one big factor in Carry Me Bluey’s favour tomorrow is a significant drop in weight.
At his past three starts in Brisbane he has carried 58kg or 57kg and at Warwick Farm has just 54kg.
■ Kris Lees is in a vexed position with his potential staying star Award Season.
Award Season comes back from a strong 2400m win to run tonight in the benchmark 73 over 1900m at Canterbury.
‘‘I want to keep him in as lower grade as possible for as long as I can,’’ Lees said.
‘‘But that means coming back from the mile-and-a-half and the way the horse raced last start and this is not ideal.
‘‘I also have the idea of getting him to Victoria for the Mornington Cup next month.
‘‘It is a $350,000 race and Award Season would need probably need another win to even go close to getting a run.
‘‘He has done well since his latest win and for a restricted staying event this is a tough race. Hopefully he can win and I can aim higher with him.’’
Lees said that Uate has a ‘‘tricky draw’’ in gate six in the listed $100,000 Canterbury Classic over 1100m.
‘‘Uate will need luck but if the breaks go his way he could be some hope,’’ Lees said.
He will also start Beaufort Gyre, which he says is improving with each of his two runs this preparation.
Tomorrow he has Pitt Street in the last race at Warwick Farm over 1400m.
‘‘He had no luck whatsoever last start and if things go his way he is a real place chance here,’’ Lees said.
■ Darren Smith describes Whisperossa as having ‘‘gone terrific’’ since arriving back from the Gold Coast.
Whisperossa took the out the $100,000 Plate on Magic Millions day.
‘‘His work on Tuesday morning was real good so I thought it is time for him to have a crack at a Saturday race in town,’’ Smith said. ‘‘This is a harder field than what he met at the Gold Coast but he should still race well.’’
Whisperossa is in the benchmark 85 over 1200m at Warwick Farm tomorrow.
He will also start Melburg in race five.
‘‘He certainly has not gone backwards and is racing consistently,’’ he said.
■ Champion Cessnock jockey Robert Thompson’s winning run in Tasmania has continued. He had a win, a sixth and an eighth in three rides at Launceston on Wednesday night.
He scored on The Chancer in a class 1 race over 1200m.
Thompson and his old mate Youthful Jack finished sixth in the main race, the $90,000 listed event over 1200m.
‘‘I was happy with Jack’s run as he still looked a bit new,’’ Thompson said on returning to Cessnock yesterday.
‘‘He will improve with that effort and I am expecting a better run next time which will be on Hobart Cup day. The one I won on is a former Hong Kong horse which was bought to race in Tasmania and he did a good job.’’
■ While NSW racing has its problems, things seem not too good in Tasmania.
‘‘It was a feature meeting but there was no one there and I am told there was only one or two bookmakers,’’ Robert Thompson said of the Launceston meeting.
■ Paul Perry has bought Southern Skye back slightly in distance for tomorrow’s 1400m benchmark 80 at Warwick Farm.
‘‘Really, he is a day-to-day proposition with his bad legs and he is not ready to step up in distance yet,’’ Perry said.
Southern Skye did a remarkable job to fight all the way down the straight when just beaten over 1500m last start.
‘‘It was a great run,’’ Perry said. ‘‘I would love to get him over more ground but right now this is the distance and class that suits him.’’
Perry also has Kirinata engaged tomorrow in the 1200m benchmark 85.
‘‘He also ran terrific last start but the same as Southern Skye is not drawn well in gate 13,’’ Perry said. ‘‘It is never easy in outside barriers in Sydney, or anywhere else for that matter.’’
■ Wyong celebrates 100 years of racing on its present location with the Australia Day meeting tomorrow.
Over the years, as well as horse racing, the course has been used for trots, greyhounds, varied other activities and different sports.
In 1929, Donald Bradman batted in a game of cricket on a pitch in the middle of the course. Apparently he was caught playing a shot square of the wicket – for a duck. This only proves there is no good thing on any racetrack anywhere.
Hoof note: Bradman returned in 1936 for another cricket game and had much more luck, scoring runs and his team won. Everyone then retired to The Grand Hotel where The Don took guard on the piano and played until stumps were drawn at 2am.
■ Best tip of the weekend is to get to the meetings at Wyong today or Newcastle tomorrow where entry is free.
■ NJC chief Cameron Williams will be absent from today’s board meeting as he is away on holidays.
Just wondering if some board members will drape Williams’s coat over his chair as the Mariners soccer side did on the sideline when coach Graham Arnold was forced to watch a game from the stands because of suspension.
■ One nickname that is attached to media personality Gary Harley is ‘‘The Round Mound of Sound’’.
He will get the chance to live up to that moniker tomorrow. Harley will be MC at the Australia Day ceremony starting at 10am at Wyong Racecourse.
He will help with the raising of our magnificent national flag. The rumour is that he will then belt out his rendition of our national anthem. Harley will then close the show with the old Aussie favourite: ‘‘I’d love to have a pie with Duncan.’’