Megapixel moves on after wash-out
DASHING Warrnambool steeplechaser Megapixel may head straight into the $100,000 Crisp Steeplechase over 3900 metres at Sandown on July 15 after the $100,000 Thackeray Steeplechase was washed out at Warrnambool last Sunday.
Symon Wilde, who trains in partnership with his father Bill, said he might enter Megapixel in a steeplechase at Sandown tomorrow, but his preferred option was to head straight into the Crisp.
“Its very disappointing that the Warrnambool races were called off,” he said.
“The Thackeray looked an ideal stepping stone race for the horse as he prepares for the Crisp.
“I might think about running him at Sandown on Wednesday but the horse is fit so I’ll probably go straight into the Crisp with him.
“The horse pulled up well after his last win at Bendigo. He does not need much work to keep him ticking along to the Crisp. He’s very fit.”
Meanwhile, Wilde said he was slightly disappointing with the effort of Lord Wimble when he ran fifth in a 1600-metre race at Caulfield on Saturday.
“After the race I was really disappointed with Lord Wimble’s effort but in speaking to jockey Glen Boss he just told me the horse had an off day and to bring him back for a another run,” he said.
“We’ll take Bossy’s advice and head back down there in a few weeks.”
Lord Wimble has five wins to his credit from his 15 starts.
RESPECTED Camperdown trainer Geoff Daffy will enter Population in this Saturday’s $150,000 Winter Championship over 1600 metres at Flemington, but he is undecided whether the horse will run.
At his last outing, Population ran 12th in the $101,000 Provincial Plate at Flemington on June 23.
“We were disappointed with his last run. That run was not like him because he had been running well,” Daffy said.
“We were really surprised that he went so badly in the Provincial Plate. We’ll weigh up our options by about Wednesday whether we run him on Saturday.”
Population has amassed more than $250,000 in stakes for his connections.
McLean wants Dhaafer ride
TOP Warrnambool jumps jockey Brad McLean has put his hand up to ride the Aaron Purcell-trained Dhaafer in the $200,000 Grand National Hurdle at Sandown on July 15 and the $250,000 Grand National Steeplechase at Sandown on July 29.
Dhaafer has won two of his three Australian starts.
His first win was on the flat at the Warrnambool May Racing Carnival while his other victory was in a hurdle race at Bendigo.
McLean rode the five-year-old in his Bendigo victory.
“I reckon Dhaafer will be a good ride in the Grand National Hurdle and the Grand National Steeple,” McLean said. “He’s getting up to distances in races that will really suit him.
“We were a bit disappointed that he missed the run in the Lafferty Hurdle on Sunday after they called the races off because Dhaafer has shown a liking for heavy conditions but he’ll probably run at Sandown on Wednesday.”
The former northern hemisphere jumper has won two of his 12 jumps starts.
Jockey pay rise on the cards
RACING Victoria Limited’s Board is expected to tick off a proposal on Thursday at its monthly meeting to give jockeys a pay rise. It is believed the rise will be implemented progressively over a three-year period.
MACARTHUR racehorse owner Kinglsey Peach is hoping his former highclass mare Exceptionally is back on track after a time off the track due to injury issues.
In her first glimpse of form for more than a year, Exceptionally ran second to short-priced favourite Turnitup in a $70,000 race at Caulfield on Saturday.
Peach revealed Exceptionally had both her back hocks operated on at the Ballarat Veterinary Clinic about 15 months ago.
“She jarred up really bad on a hard track at Caulfield one day. She lost her confidence to stretch out after that,” he said.
“If she pulls up well we would like to line her up again this Saturday in the 2600-metre Banjo Paterson at Flemington.”
Exceptionally ran third in the 2010 Geelong Cup. The first two placegetters in that race were Americain and Moudre.
Americain went on to win the Melbourne Cup, while Moudre won the Queens Cup on the final day of the 2010 Flemington Spring Carnival.
“She was really at the top of her game back in 2010,” Peach said.
“I still reckon she was unlucky not to have won the 2010 Geelong Cup. She never got a real crack at them over the final stages.
“We’ve got no big plans for her. We just want to make sure that she’s fit and well and I reckon if she is both those things we can still have some fun with her.”
The five-year-old mare has won nearly $300,000 in stake money.