Coffs mare chases another win at Royal Randwick
HELLENISM can win a second Highway Handicap in Sydney on Saturday when the Coffs Harbour mare has another tilt at a rich metro reward.
The Aiden St Vincent-trained daughter of Helmet, who has won three of her six starts, tackles the $67,500 TAB Highway Handicap (1200m) at Royal Randwick.
The four-year-old mare jumps from a good barrier (3) with Tim Clark reunited.
He was on board when she won her previous Highway over 1100m at Randwick on January 25.
She spelled after that win and trialled well at Ballina recently (second to Pleased over 1000m on a Heavy track) before resuming with a tough third at Randwick to Fender on April 18.
That was three weeks ago and Aiden St Vincent cannot be happier with her.
He floated her from Coffs early Friday afternoon believing she will go close.
"The main thing she is improved in fitness (from her first up third)," St Vincent said.
"She was a little bit short in her first run back but had a couple nice gallops. She's come on well.
"She's got to handle the trip though (back to Sydney) but she's already shown she can do that.
"The three weeks in between should help. If she finishes on like she can she will be hard to beat. The winner and the second horse (at Randwick three weeks ago) got the race run to suit them. The big positive is she can only improve on that first up run.
"She's already won an 1100m at Randwick and she seems to have grown in confidence since that too."
St Vincent has half a dozen horses in work at the moment but has another half dozen ready to come back in.
Coffs Harbour is also very competitive at the moment with the likes of Brett Bellamy, Paul Smith, Warren Gavenlock, Jim Jarvis, Brett Dodson and Sally Taylor all landing winners of late.
"Everyone's getting their fair share," Aiden St Vincent said.
"Everyone has their runs, it's very competitive and there are some nice horses in work here."
While St Vincent was heading to Sydney on Friday the Coffs Harbour Racing Club was running an eight race TAB meeting where Port Macquarie-based trainer Allan Kehoe won the Cooee Screen Prints Benchmark 58 Handicap (1600m) with In Ya Skyrocket.
Kehoe moved to Port Macquarie last year and in that 12 months has won races all along the North Coast.
"We've cut back to 16 horses," he said of his stable "and everything has been falling into place.
"We've got a good team together."
While Coffs raced today Lismore has a six-race TAB program on Saturday that is highlighted by the $12,000 Trinity Lismore Cup Class 1 Handicap (1300m).
Lismore trainer Daniel Bowen has topweight Malakai and Locust entered while the Stephen Lee-prepared Sinepari, a last start winner, flies the flag for Ballina.
Grafton trainers Jason Reilly (Denver) and Dwayne Schmidt (Onset) have runners as does Murwillumbah pair Matt
Dunn (Tilly's Star) and Wayne Sutton (Gem Of The Lochs).
Casino trainer Tom Pratt starts Eskimo Commander in the Trinity Cup, the five-year-old gelding son of Commands coming off a last start second to Dark Image at Lismore.
Kempsey trainer, Hilary Dew, also has a runner in the shape of Karlu Dreaming and Coffs Harbour trainer Mick O'Neill has I'm Jacko engaged.
The eight-year-old gelding has had three weeks since his last start, a four-length fifth to Ornate over 1100m at Armidale.