It’s not often that a horse needs to be of stakes standard to win at midweek race but that’s the case at Warwick Farm on Wednesday as a hot field does battle in the fourth event.
Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup knows Rare Episode is a good horse who is going great but he, like his rival trainers, know they have found a tough race to win.
He races against Tactical Advantage, Pandemic, California Zimbol and Villami.
“It’s a really good race. You can’t believe you can find a race like it,” Widdup said. “He’s won six from 19 but you try and place horses in Sydney at the moment and it’s extremely competitive and this race just proves it.”
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Trainer Brad Widdup will saddle-up Rare Episode at Warwick Farm. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
Rare Episode ran fourth to Akasaki, who he meets again on Wednesday, first-up at Newcastle and has thrived since.
“He’s come through it really well,” Widdup said. “It was a good run considering 900m wasn’t suitable. You’ve just got to tick them over and find the right race and I thought this was then you look at what’s in it.
“You’d imagine he’d improve off that and I’ve been really happy with him this time in.”
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The five-year-old will be ridden by Robbie Dolan, who should be able to get into an ideal spot from barrier four. But he won’t be able to lead with a Gerald Ryan/Sterling Alexiou runner in the race.
“I’d say Villami will lead and I’d be happy for him to be in the first four. That will be fine,” Widdup said. “He’d have to do something in this race and I think he’ll be thereabouts in a strong race. I just want to get him back into winning form before we look at a better race.”
A horse who will always have a special place in Widdup’s heart, Junglized, goes around in the last race over 1200m. The six-year-old was Widdup’s first career winner after he took up a trainer’s license soon after leaving Godolphin.
“He’s still going. We’re both still going,” Widdup said.
“He’s been a great horse but he’s found it hard after a throat operation. He ran second to Sandbar last time in and he’s been mixing his form a bit.”
Brad Widdup has some good chances at Warwick Farm. Picture: John FederSource:News Corp Australia
He’s won six races for Widdup during his 33-start career and a win on Wednesday will push his career earnings past the $350,000 mark.
Widdup will use Louise Day’s 3kg claim to give Junglized a winnable weight of 58.5kg and she will need to give him a good ride from barrier 10. He ran first-up in the same race as Rare Episode and will appreciate the 13200m much more today.
“I probably wish I didn’t run him at 900m the other day. If we don’t get too much rain he’ll run well,” Widdup said.
Connections for Junglized will be praying the rain stays away for their horse who loves running on top of the ground. He’s only won races on Good rated surfaces.
“He definitely isn’t a wet tracker. I think if he can get the right run he’ll bounce back. I can’t fault him. He just needs to get a bit of confidence again on race day,” Widdup said.
Payne has hope for bargain buy
He’s the gift that keeps on giving for David Payne and Pyrmont will go around at Warwick Farm ready to win after dropping in grade.
Payne bought the Ad Valorem three-year-old for just $7000 and he’s already earned more than $66,000 for his owners in an eight-start career.
He races in a Benchmark 68 (1100m) event after running on well behind Wild Ruler first-up in the Listed Heritage Stakes at Rosehill a fortnight ago.
Payne, who won a Group 1 on Saturday with Montefilia, doesn’t have a big team of horses but always seems to have a runner at a metropolitan meeting every week.
“I’ve only got 16 horses in training. We like to keep them spaced out and we always have a runner here and there,” he said.
Trainer David Payne is expecting an improved performance by Pyrmont at Warwick Farm. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
“It’s a strong field but his last run was very good. It was excellent. It was a hot field first-up and he missed the kick so he gave them a bit of a start. He wouldn’t have won but he might have run third. He’s been in some good races and struck good fields.”
Pyrmont has only won once so far but has been racing against good horses likes The Bopper, Anders and Wild Ruler so he’ll find this assignment easier.
“There will be a lot of speed in this race so it should suit him,” Payne said. “I would say he’s improved a bit. He will run better second-up.”
Crown Affair is Payne’s other runner, in the fifth race, and even though he won twice last preparation he’s a hard horse to catch because he mixes his form.
“He’s been a bit disappointing,” Payne said.
“He won at Wyong by eight lengths then was disappointing at his next run.
“The 1600m is as short as he wants it because he doesn’t have the speed. He’s a possible place chance but it’s hard to be too confident with him.”
Originally published asWarwick Farm preview: Rare chance to upstage hot field
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