Shovoot?s on track
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
TREVOR Hardy's stable foreman John Hyde has only one concern for Shovoot in today's Coffs Coast Advocate Sprint.
Last week's rain may have taken a little bit too much sting out of the ground for the Coffs Harbour gelding's liking.
"A dead or slow track won't hurt him but he's never raced or won on a real heavy track." Hyde said.
"It depends how the track comes up. The first few races, no-one knows until they get out there and the first couple of races they have and see where they're coming from."
Shovoot's form shows that he's only had one previous start on a slow track and that was just over a year ago on Community Cups Day when the five year-old proved that he's no duffer in the wet.
By Shovhog, the local gelding's form also shows that his first-up record of two wins and a third from five starts means that he's a big show in his first run for three months.
The impressive fresh record had the team momentarily dreaming of more grandeur than this afternoon's feature event offers.
"We were going to put him in the Ramornie but we thought that the Ramornie might be a little too hot for him at this stage," Hyde explained.
"But he goes alright this bloke, I think the Sprint here will probably be a better race for him."
Hyde and the team at Hardy's stables have been business as usual over the last week and admit that the boss' absence hasn't been as strongly felt as some might think.
"Trevor doesn't handle them as much as we do really," the foreman added.
"We hose him every morning and we saddle them all up, I mainly do all the work with him anyhow, I ride all his work.
"I've done that since he was a baby and in the stables since we had him."
Doing the trackwork, Hyde has been given the perfect opportunity to gauge how much improvement Shovoot has made during his spell and he has plenty of enthusiasm about his chances.
"He's improved out of sight, he's matured more in the brain," he said.
"The younger ones just want to do silly things wrong and they just don't want to be racehorses until they've matured in the brain.
"He's always shown ability this bloke but he just needed that little bit of time and we did a lot of beach work with him."
Hardy was successful in the Sprint last year with another crowd favourite, veteran Elite Ted.
If he wins for a second successive year on Shovoot, don't say the formguide didn't give you a hint or two.