Canberra trainer Matt Dale is banking on a winter blueprint he used successfully last year when he ventures to Randwick on Saturday.
Dale’s veteran galloper Man Of Peace made the most of the heavy track conditions for much of the winter in 2020 – winning four and placing once in five Randwick starts, mostly underneath emerging apprentice Louise Day.
While Man Of Peace is yet to resume from a spell, Dale ventures to Randwick on Saturday with two former Kiwi fillies – Meg and Key.
Meg is the only that sets up using the Man Of Peace blueprint.
The daughter of Sebring makes her first venture to a Sydney metropolitan track off the back of a 3¾-length romp over Class 1 company at Wagga.
Meg will carry just 50kg when ridden by 3kg claiming apprentice Ellen Hennessy in the Garry Burgess 3&4YO Benchmark 72 Handicap (1600m).
“She had a long campaign in New Zealand then had a couple of weeks in the paddock before coming over to me so she’s been up a fair while but she’s a tough and resilient filly,” Dale said
“I thought her run off that freshen was really good. She just peaked a little late chasing Kibosh, which came out again and won at Warwick Farm, then I took the opportunity to take her back in grade at Wagga and she did everything I wanted to see.
“She was extremely well placed there but it was good to see her put another win on the board and get some confidence.
“She’s right down in the weights on Saturday, rock hard fit third-up on a surface she handles.
“It’s a big step up in grade but I don’t mind rolling the dice with them when you get right down in the weights and they handle a wet track which she does.
“I think she has a sneaky chance.”
Meg is at $9 with TAB fixed odds while the stablemate Key is a $15 chance for the Peter Kafataris 3YO Benchmark 72 Handicap (1300m).
The Exceed And Excel filly created a good impression in her Aussie debut when working home well to finish sixth in the Listed Denise’s Joy Stakes.
She then raced below her trainer’s expectations last time out from the astute conditioner did offer some excuses.
“I don’t always come into the second up syndrome theory but looking back she probably overperformed first-up at an unsuitable trip,” he said.
“It may have been a case of that combined with being trapped three wide and having to circle them.
“That day at Rosehill the runners that circled on the circle basically ran nowhere.
“She’s pleased us since the last run, gets a better draw this time against her own age and she’s handle a wet track.
“Saturday tells us where she sits going forward.
“If I can forgive her last start I’m expecting a really good performance but that last run is still playing on my mind.”
Key will be ridden by the inform Sam Clipperton and launches from barrier 2.
Originally published as Dale hopes history can repeat with newcomers