Local hope Upstacker will be chasing a berth in the lucrative Scone Guineas when he turns out in this weekend’s Listed $150,000 2012 Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m).
The winner of two from 10 starts will run from barrier two in a quality 10-horse field and trainer Joan Pracey is hoping the gelding can produce a performance that will allow him to progress to higher profile events.
“He is probably a bit out of his depth with the horses in the Guineas,” Pracey said.
“But he needs to compete at this level to progress to the Scone Guineas.”
He comes up against a quality line up that includes Gai Waterhouse-trained gelding Landing who has been in terrific form this year.
A son of More Than Ready, the three-year-old will start as odds-on favourite in the Hawkesbury feature after going unbeaten in his four career starts to date with the highlight victory coming last start in the Listed South Pacific Classic.
Pracey admits that Landing will be tough to beat but is hopeful Upstacker can produce a performance that will see him finish near the front.
“I’d like to see him run in the first four. If he can get within a couple of lengths of a horse like Landing, who is very good, then I’ll be happy,” Pracey said.
Also set to run in Saturday’s Guineas are Peter Snowden-trained pair Pied A Terre and Free Wheeling who will both carry the top weight of 59kg.
A winner of four from seven starts, Pied A Terre will be looking to bounce back from the only failure of his career to date which came last start when running eighth in the Ajax Stakes.
Chris Waller-trained gelding Sacred Pins has drawn the plum barrier five position and impressed last start when running second to Landing in the South Pacific Classic.
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