A gun shy Ben Smith opted to accept in two races with his promising filly Our Girl Hollie at Wyong on Thursday after a dreadful run with barriers recently hampered his chances of claiming two Group 1 victories.
Ben’s stable star In Her Time drew the extreme outside in last Saturday’s Group 1 Tatts Tiara at Doomben with experts believing the wide draw cost her a win.Ridden by Josh Parr, In Her Time still managed to finish third in the $500,000 race just a length behind the winner.
Two weeks earlier the mare started from barrier 12 in the $1.5m Stradbroke and despite a wide run throughout she finished second, narrowly beaten by Impending.
To counter another bad draw Ben decided Our Hollie Girl would be a dual acceptor.
“It’s been a very tough time with the barriers so I wanted to see where she drew before deciding which way we go,” the Broadmeadow based trainer said.
“I wanted to get her in the easier race and can’t believe she drew well in both. “That doesn’t happen for me very often,” Ben laughed.
“At this stage I’m leaning towards the Provincial and Country Maiden. It looks like the better option and hopefully everything will fall into place.”
A three-year-old Makfi filly, Our Girl Hollie was placed at her last start at Canterbury on June 14 and prior to that finished fifth at Warwick Farm beaten only length.
Ben said she had performed well in both races but didn’t appreciate the heavy going at Canterbury.
“I’d be hoping that the track will be in the soft range come Thursday because that will really suit her.
“I personally think she is better on top of the ground but it is difficult to get good tracks in winter.
“Josh Adams has ridden her in the last two starts and will stick with her at Wyong.
“He is on the comeback trail and has made himself available to me when I’ve been short of a rider.
“I like to give him a go and he has been riding well. “
Ben’s other runner, Tabrobane, will also be ridden by Josh in the 1350m Kernick Law CG&E Benchmark 65 Handicap.
“I think he should run well especially after the good barrier draw.
“He has had two starts for me and his runs have been solid. He is a bit up in grade but I think he will hold his own.”
Tabrobane, who was previously trained by Ron Quinton, has had a second and third at Taree since joining Ben’s stables.
Wyong hosts the Give Me 5 For Kids Charity Race Day featuring the 2GO VIP Sportsman’s Luncheon.
RACE 1 – 12.15PM: BEST SIGNS AND SOLVERE WEALTH 3YO MAIDEN PLATE (1000M): 1 GORESBRIDGE, 2 Yeas and Nays, 3 Bucasia, 4 Angora Princess.
RACE 2 – 12.50PM: HUCKEL EXCAVATIONS MAIDEN PLATE (1350M): 1 THE PATRICIAN, 2 Weston, 3 Zepherine, 4 Soul Revival.
RACE 3 – 1.25PM: CENTRAL COAST BULLDGOS MASTERS RUGBY LEAGUE MAIDEN HANDICAP (1100M): 1 OUR GIRL HOLLIE, 2 Seething Jackal, 3 Peretti, 4 The Exchedquer.
RACE 4 – 2.05PM: CASANOVA OYSTERS & SEAFOOD F&M BENCHMARK 65 HANDICAP (1350M): 1 ROSETTAS WHEY, 2 Rhymes, 3 Lady Chalfont, 4 Tacit Rhema.
RACE 5 – 2.40PM: THE PROPERTY MARKET PROV & COUNTRY MAIDEN PLATE (1100M): 1 BUCASIA, 2 Our Girl Hollie, 3 Power Command, 4 Good Verdict.
RACE 6 – 3.15PM: NAILED IT PROJECTS CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1600M): 1 LUCIENNE, 2 Poldark, 3 Danzie, 4 Chicago Stomp.
RACE 7 – 3.50PM: GIVE ME 5 FOR KIDS CHARITY CUP CLASS 2 HANDICAP (1100M): 1 STAR CROSSED, 2 Kings Of Leon, 3 Wirpna, 4 Moccasin Miss.
RACE 8 – 4.25PM: KERNICK LAW CG&E BENCHMARK 65 HANDICAP (1350M): 1 1 HELENSBURG HAM, 2 Street Pursuit, 3 Triple Hero, 4 Kool Vinnie.