Henry?s long road to the winning post
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
IF racehorses could claim frequent flyer points then Henavari might have booked a two-week Caribbean holiday by now.
The Brett Dodson-trained gelding has been more than comfortable travelling in the back of a float for his last three starts, heading both north and south to race at Eagle Farm and Canterbury.
"He's been doing a few kilometres," Dodson admitted in the lead-up to today's TAB meeting at Coffs Harbour Racing Club.
"He handles it well though and doesn't miss out on his feed which is always a good sign."
Finishing third behind the in-form October Sun at a Canterbury night meeting more than a month ago has been the highlight of the five year-old's current campaign. Henavari is racing in the feature event of today's meeting which is being run at the late time of 5.30pm in the almost twilight meeting.
'Henry' and his jockey Adrian Robinson have got a big job ahead of them today, though, as other horses in the field like Simply Viv, Mel's Glory, Kaoru Square, Smoothe and Good Card have already notched up a victory at the open Coffs Harbour track.
"He's no certainty as it's a very even race," the trainer admitted.
"He's a Class 3 horse in a Class 5 race but that way he gets the weight relief.
"The hardest thing about having a half handy horse in the bush is that you can't place them in races. If I put him in a Class 3 race up here he'll get 59kg so we have to travel because we can't start him here in the country."
This is the 13th start since late May for Henavari who is making a habit of finishing his campaigns off strongly.
"Ideally we wouldn't back him up only a week after travelling but it's a good prize race in your own backyard and one of the owners is a local," Dodson explained. "Any indication that comes from here on in will make you think about giving him a bit of a spell.
"He's a gelding now so we'll probably only spell him for a month or so when the time comes. Old geldings take too long to get fit again."
There's no doubting Henavari's fitness for today's race and he might appreciate only having to travel 300 metres to the track instead of 300 kilometres.