Hula Girl ready to shake at Coffs track
GLEN Innes trainer Paddy Cunningham has handy mare Hula Girl humming as she attempts to win her first race this campaign at Coffs Harbour this afternoon.
The four-year-old mare by Dane Shadow lines up in the Coffs Harbour Hardwoods Class 3 Hcp over 1608m with Cunningham's 1.5kg claiming apprentice Jodi Worley in the saddle.
Hula Girl tackles the mile event third up and according to Cunningham is cherry ripe fitness wise.
"She's just about as good as I can get her," Cunningham said.
"There's not much improvement left in her.
"She pulled up good after Armidale. She's a good winded animal who has ticked over nicely since. She looks well and has worked well."
Hula Girl, a $12,000 Magic Million yearling purchase, has recorded three wins and seven placing's from 26 starts, earning $68,620 prizemoney.
"She's been a pretty handy mare," Cunningham added.
"With a bit better luck at times she could have won more races but I guess that's racing but she's more than paid her way."
There's not a lot of Hula Girl size wise but the mare "has a good engine," Cunningham said.
Hula Girl resumed following a 111-day spell with a 4.8 length fifth to Rich Reward in a Benchmark 75 handicap at Ipswich on October 28.
She then had little luck in running after a 24-day let up when 1.8 lengths fifth to Pippi's Pride in a Benchmark 70 event at Armidale on November 21.
"She didn't handle the heavy (nine) track at Ipswich then got caught wide at Armidale in a slowly run race and had no luck. Her effort was pretty good," Cunningham said.
Worley's booking for Hula Girl is important.
"Jodi rides her most of her work," Cunningham said.
"She knows the mare well which is important because she's got a few lurks and perks."
Hula Girl has drawn a little awkwardly in barrier 11 but Cunningham doesn't see the barrier as a major problem.
"You always like to draw in but she's a mare that usually gets back a bit anyhow," Cunningham suggested.
"Over the 1600 metres she'll probably lob around midfield.
"We just need some luck in running."