TOP Warrnambool mare Flying Mascot will kick off her spring campaign in the $200,000 group three Cockram Stakes at Caulfield on August 27.
Flying Mascot, who is trained by Tom Dabernig, has the $1 million group one Empire Rose Stakes at Flemington on October 29 as her main goal over the spring, a race she ran fifth in last year.
Dabernig said his stable star had been back in light work for a few weeks.
"Flying Mascot has come back into work in great shape," the multiple group one winning trainer said. "We're just taking her along slowly. We'll be ramping up her work over the next few weeks as we plan to take her to a trial at Colac on August 4. She appreciates it when her work and races are spaced. She's a lightly-framed mare who is very valuable after winning three group three races. Her value would be enhanced if she could win a group one race and that's the aim this preparation. Flying Mascot ran very well in the Empire Rose last year. I've got my fingers crossed she'll be really competitive in that race again this year."
The four-year-old mare has won six of her 14 starts earning more than $550,000 in prizemoney for her connections.
Rising nine-year-old A Good Yarn may have a short break after an unlucky run in a benchmark 70 at Geelong on Friday.
The Merv McKenzie trained A Good Yarn ran seventh behind Ashlor in the 1100-metre race.
The stewards' report from the meeting reveals A Good Yarn began awkwardly and lost ground. He was then held up for clear running in the early part of the straight and then was again held up passing the 200 metres until approaching the 100-metre mark.
McKenzie said that you couldn't give starts in races and expect to win.
"It's hard to win races if you miss the start," he said. "A Good Yarn just had no luck. I'm confident if he had jumped, he would have run in the top three but that's racing. He also had no luck in the home straight. We may give A Good Yarn a break because there are not many suitable races for him. He's just an honest performer who tries all the time and it's his consistency that sees him hard to place now."
From his 40 starts, A Good Yarn has won more than $193,000 for his connections.
Exciting jumping prospect Stern Idol will be a better jumper next season, according to his trainer Ciaron Maher.
Stern Idol won his second consecutive jumps race, winning a restricted hurdle at Pakenham on Sunday.
The imported galloper scored an effortless victory at his jumps debut at Warrnambool on July 3.
"There's no reason to lift the bar too quickly with Stern Idol," Maher said. "He's still learning about the jumps caper. He's been very impressive but I think we'll just take him along slowly for the rest of this jumps season. Stern Idol looks an exciting type. I can't wait to bring him back for the jumps races next season. I'm quietly confident he could win a jumps feature in 2023."
Stern Idol has won over $50,000 from his two Australian jumps wins.
Popular Warrnambool jumps jockey Daniel (Bushy) Small booted home his first jumps winner at Pakenham on Sunday.
The Peter Chow-trained Hostar, under the urgings of Small, hung on to beat Heir To The Throne by a nose to take out the maiden hurdle over 3200 metres.
Small, who had his first race ride in April, won a highweight flat race at Hamilton on the Patrick Ryan-trained Ferago in May before Sunday's victory and was excited with his first jumps winner.
"It's a great result to get a jumps winner," Small said. "I've got to give thanks to Peter and everyone at his stable who have all supported me. I would say my three kilogram claim really helped in the end."
Chow said it was a pleasure to give Small his first jumps winner.
"Bushy deserves the win and I'm glad he got it from our stable," Chow said. "He's a hardworking bloke who's very dedicated. He's there first thing in the morning six days in the week and he's always got a smile on his face. I think he's got a real future as a jumps jockey."
Chow said he's undecided which path he'll go down with Hostar for his next run.
"We'll just have a look around; there's no rush in planning Hostar's next start," he said. "It'll be in restricted company. We'll go through his grades quietly. The experience he has in the jumps races this season will hold him in good stead for next season. The strange thing is we were not sure if he would run out 3200 metres after some of his distance flat runs but he has. I'm sure the slower tempo in the jumps races has really helped him."
Sunday's win took Hostar's prizemoney to over $295,000.
Lightly-raced Warrnambool filly Sweet Mary will have a spell after a post-race veterinary examination at Geelong last Friday detected the presence of blood in both her nostrils following her run in an 1100-metre race. Under the rule of racing, the Lindsey Smith-trained Sweet Mary shall not, without the permission of stewards, be trained, exercised or galloped on a racecourse for a period of two months. She will have to trial satisfactorily in front of stewards over at least 1000 metres before she's allowed to race again. Sweet Mary ran ninth in Friday's $35,000 race.
PERMUTATION: nice effort to run third on Saturday. He'll be hard to beat going back to maiden company next time.
VERANSKOVA: resumed with a second placing over 1000 metres. Her best runs have been in races over a bit more ground. She's one to keep an eye on in the future.
INNOCENT MOVES: big run at her first start this time in work. She ran second and should be hard to beat in similar company next time.
MUSTANG HARRY: impressive maiden steeplechase winner at Pakenham. With a bit of luck, he should go through his grades especially if he gets heavy tracks.
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