Clinton McDonald’s Group 2 winning galloper Second Effort will kick off their new season campaign this Saturday in Warwick Farm’s $175,000 Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m), a race their trainer hopes will lead to a shot at The Galaxy 2013 at the end of the month.
One of 12 sprinters engaged in this year’s Challenge Stakes the most notable of which is returning champion Hay List, six-year-old Mossman gelding Second Effort races for the first time since their failed effort when 12th to Moment Of Change in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) in Melbourne last September.
A known mudlark Second Effort’s biggest win to date also came during the spring when taking out the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) on a Heavy (10) track at Caulfield, McDonald one of the few trainers on Saturday hoping for the earlier wet weather in Sydney to return.
“It’ll give him a look (racing right-handed), but it fits in well to the program and what we want to do with him,” McDonald said of the Challenge Stakes where other notable hopefuls include the Peter Moody-trained Lightning Stakes third placed Golden Archer, last start Oakleigh Plate winner Mrs Onassis and the fellow Gerald Ryan-trained Snitzerland – runner-up in last year’s Golden Slipper.
“The Challenge is over 1000, which leads into the 1100 (of The Galaxy) plus at Warwick Farm, with the rain that they’ve had, you’d hope that there’s going to be a bit of fire out of the track, which the horse really enjoys.
“If we got a slow or heavy track it would be pretty good for him.”
Second Effort always runs well fresh so McDonald is hoping for a nice showing in the Challenge Stakes but is eyeing a bigger Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival prize with the horse heading towards the $350,000 Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 30.
“He’s done super, I couldn’t be any happier with the way the horse is, and he seems to be in really good form,” McDonald said.
“The horse’s well, he’s fit, he’s come back in good order and I’m looking forward to a good preparation with him.”
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