Training for one of Australia’s most recognised sportsman is relaxing for Scone horseman Mark Schmetzer, and almost as easy as training Quan.
The three-year-old, who is part-owned by Australian star cricketer David Warner, runs in the opening race on Sunday at Dubbo over 1000m and debuts after first being seen publicly at the Randwick trials last September.
And he ran 23 lengths last behind Global Quest.
“He hasn’t had any problems,” Schmetzer said. “He was just immature and I fell into the trap with the All Too Hards thinking he was pretty forward so I trialled him and he went poor.
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Cricket star David Warner part-owns Quan, who will make his debut at Dubbo on Sunday. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
“I put him out and he’s had a couple of preparations in between but wasn’t quite ready. There’s a lot of good owners in him so I was able to hold him back until he could win and he is ready to win.
“There’s been no pressure from him (Warner). He’s very good to deal with and there’s been plenty of good banter with the owners.”
Quan has had two trials this time in for an eighth and third, where it was obvious he had returned a more professional horse. And it caught the eye of the punters, who have him battling it out with Kaufusi for favouritism.
“I didn’t want to trial him,” Schmetzer said. “I was hoping to sneak under the radar, but because we hadn’t trialled him in 12 months we were forced to and he went from $30 to $6, so that was a bit of a bummer.
“The trip away to the trials on a different track has just brought him on. His trials were good and that’s what I expected and I also expect him to improve again off them.”
Quan will be ridden by Ben Looker out of gate two and punters shouldn’t worry about him doing things wrong on debut.
“There’s no danger of that,” the trainer said. “He’s pretty professional now and straight-forward. The penny has dropped but he’ll be even better next preparation where he’ll be racing in Highways.”
The stable has another leading hope in Deploys Alone in the sixth race, a Benchmark 66 Handicap (1000m). He’s an ex-John Sadler-trained horse who won two from 21 in Victoria with eight placings, including his past three runs.
Ben Looker will ride Quan in the opener at Dubbo. Picture: Adam HouriganSource:News Regional Media
“He’s got a good little record in Victoria and we bought him online,” Schmetzer said. “I’m surprised he didn’t come up as favourite because he’s got really good form.”
Ex-Victorian-trained runners often come to country trainers in NSW and start winning.
“You see it all the time out west, even with horses with lesser form than Deploys Alone,” Schmetzer said. “He’s very professional and will like Dubbo. He’ll be third or fourth and Ben Looker was happy to go out and ride both horses for us. Hopefully we can get a kill then go to the provincials before setting him for a Highway in the winter.”
When asked if a winning double was a good chance, Schmetzer quickly responded.
“It’s realistic,” he said. “Quan is my best hope.”
Meantime, Rodney Robb’s three best chances at Dubbo have all drawn wide gates but he’s optimistic that they’ll get their chances with a bit of luck.
Blackadder is shooting for three-straight wins in a Class 3 Handicap (1400m) after winning a maiden and a Class 1 event. He’s stepping up two grades and will have to do it from barrier 13 with regular rider Clayton Gallagher on board.
“It’s a bit of a rise in class but he’s in form and he’s well within himself,” Robb said. “He’s done well since his last run and it’s only his fourth run back so I expect him to run a good race. A lot of horses don’t win two horses in one campaign but he’s an improving type.
“The spell has done more good to him than anything. He’s a nervy type of horse but I think the long break is the reason why he’s found a bit of form.”
Trainer Rodney Robb hasn’t had much luck with barriers for his best chances at Dubbo. Picture: Julianne OsborneSource:News Limited
Gallagher led on Blackadder when he drew wide first-up but that won’t be the plan against better horses.
“The barrier does concern me,” Robb said. “I wouldn’t like to see him used up a lot from there in this race because he would be vulnerable. He can be ridden back off the speed, he proved that last start.”
Angie Emm has her first run for Robb in a Class 1 Handicap (1100m) and she ran second in a lead-up trail and has barrier nine to contend with.
“Last time in work she was fairly honest and the trial was good,” Robb said.
“She’s not a very big mare and she’s drawn wide too so will need a bit of luck. I think I’ve got her forward enough and that she can be competitive. There’s plenty of different theories about it but I don’t think she needs them first-up from a spell.”
Rogue Runner has barrier 12 in his Benchmark 66 Handicap (1000m) but he’s won from outside gates before and loves the track and distance.
“He’s only got 58kg and it’s a 1000m. His last run was good and I told Elissa (Meredith) that I’m expecting a good showing from him,”
Robb’s other runners on Sunday are Tells Tails, Yallah Sunrise and Spinher. “Tells Tails is the best of those three and could surprise them if a few others don’t show up,” Robb said.
Sky Racing News Update: 13th November 2020
Sky Racing News Update: 13th November 2020.
Originally published asDubbo preview: Warner hoping Quan’s a big hit
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