Singleton concedes Concessions a hope
SCOTT Singleton, the trainer of one of last year's Qualifier winners, has warned punters not to overlook the less fancied of his two runners in Saturday's $150,000 Provincial Championships Qualifier (1400m) at Newcastle.
Singleton, who won the Hawkesbury Qualifier in 2017 with Shazee Lee, saddles up stablemates Cambage and Concessions in Saturday's all-important heat. And while Cambage is well found at $6.50 on the TAB Fixed Odds market, Concessions is rated a $31 shot, a price that does not do her justice, Singleton said.
The Deanne Panya mount goes into the race first-up since a fifth placing over 2200m at Doomben in November, but with a recent 1200m trial win under her belt.
"The only way that Concessions is sharp enough over 1400m is first-up,'' Singleton said.
"She has improved a little bit every preparation and I think she is going better now than she has ever gone. She is the sort of mare that could surprise. She's not hopeless.''
As for Cambage, the daughter of Haradasun had absolutely no luck in the Hawkesbury Qualifier first-up when finishing 3½ lengths from the winner Uptown Lad but with numerous excuses.
"She got held up when she should have been going forward and she didn't really have a hard run in the end,'' Singleton said.
"I think she would have been up there somewhere at the finish, possibly running third or maybe even making it interesting if she got going a bit earlier.''
Cambage has a solid second-up record of a win and two placings. She also went round in the ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) this time 12 months ago, finishing down the course behind Bonneval and clearly unable to handle the wet track.
"I don't mind her second-up, but she is a mare that will get over further so we've just tried to keep her sharp given she is staying at the 1400m,'' Singleton said.
"It would be better to run her at a mile but we have kept her work short and sharp. She's had three weeks between runs and is nice and bright, she seems in good order to me. I suppose we'll find out on Saturday.''
Kris Lees dominates Saturday's Qualifier with as many as eight possible starters, half of the 16-horse field. Early favourite with TAB punters is the All Too Hard filly Waimea Bay, who was first emergency for the Qualifier but gained a run after stablemate Whispered Secret (who drew 19) was taken out.
Waimea Bay is a winner of three of her seven starts and comes off a closing third behind Assimilate in the Canberra Guineas (1400m) on March 11.
Meantime, Kopi Luwak has bruising to both front feet and an abscess on the near-fore foot, leaving trainer Danny Williams with no option to but withdraw the Goulburn Qualifier winner from the $500,000 Country Championships Final at Royal Randwick next Saturday.
Another Williams-trained galloper, minor placegetter Acquittal now gains a start in the final, meaning he will be withdrawn from the Wildcard at Muswellbrook on Sunday.