Heavy Hopes for Hood – Civic Stakes 2012

Warwick Farm horseman Guy Walter is hoping for some more rain in Sydney ahead of this Saturday’s 2012 Civic Stakes at Rosehill Gardens to advantage his known mudlark Hood.

Currently the course proper at Rosehill is rated a Slow (7) but Walter has his fingers crossed the fine weather doesn’t dry the track out too much before the $100,000 Listed Civic Stakes (1400m).

A final field of 11 gallopers is engaged for the quality handicap clash this year, Hood drawn in the extreme outside gate.

The Shamardal five-year-old, a half-brother to former 13 time Group 1 champion stayer Tie The Knot, was last seen in the winners stall back in early March when taking out the Listed National Sprint (1400m) at Canberra.

They have failed to impress in their three starts since in Sydney, the gelding last seen running seventh to Riva De Lago in a 1300m handicap at Scone on May 18.

Walter blames the too firm track at Scone that day which was rated a Good (3) and hopes that after a six week freshen-up and the addition of blinkers punters will see a different Hood on Saturday.

“When he raced at Scone, unfortunately the ground was too good for him,” Walter said.

“He’s had a freshen-up since then and he generally races well with his races spaced a bit.

“I’ve taken the blinkers off him for Saturday. It will maybe give the rider a few more options.”

Christian Reith has the ride on Hood for the first time in the Civic Stakes replacing the suspended Blake Shinn and Walter has full confidence in the new hoop.

“He’s ridden for me a bit over the years but not a great deal,” Walter said.

“I’m very happy to have him on.”

Another thing that could reinvigorate them on Saturday would be a rain-affected track, Hood having won two of their four starts on Heavy-rated tracks.

“If the track was Heavy on Saturday it would enhance his chances,” Walter said.

“He has won the National Sprint at Canberra and was second in a nice race on Cup day at Flemington last year (over 1400m).

“He’s a handy horse on his day, particularly on rain-affected ground.”

Other notable hopefuls in the 2012 Civic Stakes field include the Chris Waller-trained Tromso and John O’Shea’s June Stakes winner Alberton Park.

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