Kim Waugh is hoping her gelding Hand From Above can claim his first victory for the stable on his home track when he steps out in the $50,000 Hudson Homes Town Plate on Wednesday.
The five-year-old will be on debut for the Waugh stable in the inaugural running of the race, a great initiative by the Wyong Race Club.
A large crowd is expected on course for the Christmas At The Races meeting, with all hospitality areas booked out.
The $50,000 Class 4 Handicap has attracted a strong field of nine runners, including three last start winners
Warwick Farm galloper Prima Stella is shooting for his fourth successive win.
Waugh is confident Hand From Above will perform well after two strong trials. “He had quite a long spell, about four months off when we got him here,” she said.
“He’s had the two trials and I’m very happy with him. He’s going lovely and is a nice horse.”
Previously with the Snowden and Weir stables, Hand From Above trialled over 800m on the Beaumont track on November 21, before finishing third over 1000m on his home track on December 4.
Waugh said the timing of the Wyong race had been perfect. “It’s a great starting point distance for him. I think he’ll get up to a mile by the looks of things but first up this should be nice for him.
“Being first up he’s still got a bit of improvement in him but I expect he will still run a very good race.”
Hand From Above has drawn barrier one and will be ridden by Brenton Avdulla.
Richard Litt concedes Prima Stella is jumping up in grade but is confident the track and conditions should suit the Redoute’s Show four-year-old.
He is coming off a trifecta of wins over 1400m and 1300m at Nowra, Canberra and Orange.
“It is a step up in a couple of grades but he’s well weighted so hopefully he’s on pace,” Litt said.
“He puts himself up there and he always gives us a 100 percent so please God he might run well.
“He will appreciate the tighter circuit and it is good ground at Wyong which will only help him.
“He is going well at the moment. He was useless when he was young but has just got better and better.
“As a two-year-old he looked like a foal. He’s tiny but now he’s all heart.
“Andrew Banks helps. He doesn’t miss them and is a very good rider.
“He’s gelled quite well with him. He knows how to ride him and that’s very important.
“It is wonderful prizemoney and a good enticement.”
The Kylie Gavenlock trained Invincible George looms as one of the hardest to beat, with strong recent form around the provincials including a last start win over the 1300m at Hawkesbury.
He has drawn barrier eight and will be ridden by Tim Clark.
Nothing Box from the Waller stable has drawn the outside barrier but has winning Metropolitan form and is good first up.
The Town Plate, a feature on the seven-race program, runs at 4.55pm, with the meeting getting underway at 2pm.
RACE 2 – 2.35PM: GO TRAIN INDUSTRY CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2100m) – 1 SEINE NET, 2 Geegeeaye, 3 Merican, 4 Eyota.
RACE 3 – 3.10PM: POTTERS FLOORING METRO AND PROV MAIDEN PLATE (1600m): 1 ENLIGHTENED BOY, 2 Royal Patriot, 3 Teahupo’o, 4 Ice Emperor.
RACE 4 – 3.45PM: WYONG EQUINE CLINIC MAIDEN PLATE (1350m): 1 THRILLED, 2 Choice Harvest, 3 Art Of More, 4 We Love Rugby.
RACE 5 – 4.20PM: GUARDIAN PARTNERS MAIDEN HANDICAP (1200m): 1 SPENCER, 2 Smart Enough, 3 The Patrician, 4 Boca Grande.
RACE 6 – 4.55PM: HUDSON HOMES TOWN PLATE (1350m): 1 INVINCIBLE GEORGE, 2 Nothing Box, 3 Prima Stella, 4 Poet’s Advocate.
RACE 7 – 5.30PM: MDA BUILT/DIVERSE BUILDING BENCHMARK 65 HANDICAP (1600m): 1 CAJETAN, 2 Maddison Avenue, 3 Graciousness, 4 Hammoon Bridge.