The expected heavy track conditions at Hawkesbury’s Guineas Day meeting on Saturday present little fears for Randwick trainer Kevin Moses whose known mudlark Mr Unforgettable lines up in the Rowley Mile.
One of three Listed races at Hawkesbury this weekend, the $150,000 Listed Rowley Mile (1600m) drew a 16-horse field but with the early scratching of the Roger James-trained New Zealand galloper Firebolt, 15 contenders are left to face off.
Six-year-old Rubiton gelding Mr Unforgettable is the current $4.40 favourite based on a number of factors including his ideal barrier draw, his last-start win over 1400m at Randwick and his proven wet track form.
While the eight-race stand-alone Hawkesbury meeting on Saturday isn’t expected to be run on as rain-affected a track as last weekend’s Sydney Cup Day at the Royal Randwick was, there will still be plenty of give in the ground.
Hawkesbury Race Club’s CEO Brian Fletcher has said despite the heavy rainfall in Sydney in recent days the track is holding up well ahead of Saturday.
“We had six mils overnight for a total of 31 mils since last Friday,” Fletcher said.
“We don’t seem to have had the amount of rain Sydney has received and if we raced now it would be a Heavy 8.
“We’re just hoping for some sort of break in the weather, but there are no dramas with the meeting going ahead.”
While the connections of a number of other Rowley Mile contenders will also be hoping for limited rain, Mr Unforgettable and trainer Moses don’t mind the wet whatsoever.
“He’s a real swimmer,” Moses said of Mr Unforgettable.
“The wetter, the better for this bloke.”
Last start Mr Unforgettable thrived on a Heavy Randwick track for his seventh win from 31 starts at Doncaster Mile Day on April 16, which was the eighth time he’d run on a slow to heavy surface.
“That was only his second run from a spell and he has improved since,” Moses said of the Doncaster Day win.
“He should run very well at Hawkesbury.”
Top jockey Hugh Bowman has been booked to ride Mr Unforgettable in the Rowley Mile, one of seven rides on the day for Bowman.
“He loves the wet and when the rain came I thought he’d be a great mount,” Bowman said of Mr Unforgettable.
“He has drawn nicely in gate four (into three with the scratching of Firebolt) and is one of my better rides for the day.”
Bowman’s other major mount at the meeting is aboard Magic Millions 3YO Classic winner Torio’s Quest in the $150,000 Listed Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m).
“He was great winning the two big races at Wyong and the Gold Coast but didn’t feel right when unplaced at Rosehill,” Bowman said of Torio’s Quest.
“I’ve since ridden him in a couple of gallops and he feels awesome – this is a serious racehorse.
“The wet’s not the end of the world but I’d have preferred him on a dry surface.”
Mr Unforgettable could earn a shot at the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival features including the $1 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) if he wins the Rowley Mile.
“If he runs well enough I might even thing about the Scone Cup next, or I might take him to Brisbane,” Moses said.
Moses nominated Mr Unforgettable for the Stradbroke Handicap, the wet-track specialist one of 147 early entries for the richest sprint showdown in Queensland.
Last year Mr Unforgettable just missed out on a Stradbroke start not getting called up as the fourth emergency.
“I had something on him in the early market for the Stradbroke last year but he never got a run,” Moses said.
“I think he might be a chance in one of those races if it’s wet.
“But we’ll see how he goes on Saturday first.
“He’s very well at the moment, I couldn’t be happier with him.”
2011 XXXX Gold Hawkesbury Rowley Mile Field & Barrier Draw
|#||Form (Past 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||11116X3319||PURENESS||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||3||57.5kg||103|
|2||1225736X58||SNOW ALERT||Chris Waller||Jay Ford||14||56.5kg||101|
|3||09X7360X59||EMPIRES CHOICE (NZ)||Bart Cummings||Brad Pengelly||7||55.5kg||99|
|4||00061X0108||KEEPIN’ THE DREAM (NZ)||Jim & Greg Lee||Peter Wells||5||55.5kg||99|
|5||111115X3X9||MR CLANGTASTIC||Les Bridge||Grant Buckley||9||55.5kg||99|
|6||X235512X51||MR UNFORGETTABLE||Kevin Moses||Hugh Bowman||4||55.5kg||99|
|7||898349000X||NEWPORT||Paul Perry||Darryl McLellan||2||55kg||98|
|8||X61684L564||ALTERED BOY||Chris Waller||Joshua Parr||12||54.5kg||97|
|11||0X860X5474||LATIN NEWS||Bart Cummings||Ms Kathy O’Hara||15||53kg||94|
|12||808X952600||MISS KEEPSAKE (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Christian Reith||13||53kg||92|
|13||3211X0X059||STAR OF OCTAGONAL||Todd Howlett||Corey Brown||8||53kg||92|
|14||345X494065||MADIBAGOLD||David Payne||Nathan Berry||10||53kg||91|
|15||1X148X69X3||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||6||53kg||90|
|16||6X213X1||PECK||Peter Snowden||Rod Quinn||11||53kg||68|