Tamworth trainer Melanie O’Gorman is confident Suncraze can break a frustrating run of second placings when he makes his provincial debut at Newcastle Racecourse on Saturday.
Suncraze will step out in a class one 1200-metre handicap with Grant Buckley in the saddle. The gelding kicked off his career with a last to first, five-length maiden win at Dubbo on a heavy track in August.
He was spelled immediately and resumed with a fast-finishing second at Tamworth in November then was another strong second at Scone on Christmas Eve.
Suncraze has untapped potential and O’Gorman sent him to the paddock for another spell after a brilliant barrier trial win at Armidale.
He resumed with a cracking second on Scone Cup day on May 12 after racing wide. Three weeks back, the three-year-old turned in another eye-catcher when he came from a mile back for second in a Randwick class three Highway Handicap. The winner, Clipper, is very smart and Suncraze took plenty of ground off him.
He drops sharply in grade but will carry four kilograms more on Saturday. O’Gorman, who breaks in and pre-trains on the Erin Park property she leases, heads to Newcastle with high hopes.
“Suncraze has so much raw talent and he is still maturing after five starts,” she said. “His run in the Randwick Highway was outstanding and I would have taken him back from another Highway at Rosehill this Saturday but the race is too far.”
“He is a horse that must have his runs spaced and I am keen to run him in a 1400 metre three-year-old race at Warwick Farm in three weeks’ time.
“It is three weeks since he raced at Randwick so he had to have another run before we went to Warwick Farm and the Newcastle race fits perfectly.
“He is a backmarker but he has a powerful finishing burst and he will relish the spacious Newcastle track. Suncraze has won on a heavy track so a wet track won’t be a problem. This horse will get a mile eventually.”
Oakfield General, a three-year-old bred and raced by the Mayor of Port Stephens, Bruce Mackenzie, has bright prospects in the 1400m Maiden Plate.
Oakfield General has raced twice for a second on debut at Gosford on May 4 and a close fourth at Newcastle three weeks ago.
The gelding has the advantage of the rails barrier and he will race on the pace.
Wyong trainer Damien Lane prepares Oakfield General which will be ridden by talented South African apprentice Jean Van Overmeire.
Apprenticed to Bjorn Baker, Van Overmeire has ridden a string of winners since arriving in Australia. Mackenzie is also enjoying a purple patch with his ‘Oakfield’ horses.