Newcastle harness racing: Roy Roots jnr chasing Breeders Challenge success

Roy Roots jnr
Roy Roots jnr

Keinbah trainer Roy Roots jnr hopes wins at Newcastle will prove successful lead-ups for High Rolling and My Anna Rani into the NSW Breeders Challenge series.

High Rolling claimed the first, a C2-C5 mares race, at Newcastle Paceway on Saturday night as the $3.40 favourite and My Anna Rani ($6.10) took out the ninth, a two-year-old event.

Roots jnr said he used the run for High Rolling as preparation for qualifiers into the four-year-old mares division of the Breeders Challenge.

My Anna Rani, though, has yet to secure a semi-finals place in the two-year-old fillies after finishing sixth in a heat at Menangle last Tuesday. She was fourth in a previous heat and Roots jnr hoped that would be enough to progress.

“She’s quite a talented filly but she’s just taken a bit of hard work to get right,” Roots jnr said on Sunday.

“We had her in a Breeders Challenge heat on Tuesday and elected to drive her a little quieter, but it was the wrong move. If we went forward we probably would have won.

“It left a sour taste in the mouth, so we weren’t making that mistake last night. Tom [Ison] got her out and into the lead and she showed what we knew she could do.”

He said Carousel winner The Black Prince would trial on Wednesday night before heading to the Queensland Derby.

Cameron Davies also trained a winning double at Newcastle on Saturday night with Big Time Hustler and Zac McCool. 

Ellalong trainer-driver Michael Formosa’s Ultimate Art was second to Celestial Arden in the group 3 JD Watts Memorial at Menangle on Saturday night.