Trainer plans raid with Kastelos
PORT Macquarie trainer Jenny Graham has built her reputation around successful country feature raids.
So punters should take note that the astute horsewoman will be making the trip up the Pacific Highway today in an attempt to bag the $40,000 Tursa Employment & Training Grafton Guineas (1600m) with Kastelos.
Kastelos, a three-year-old Untouchable gelding, comes into the Guineas after a determined win on a slow track at Muswellbrook over 1450m.
With all the rain this season, he hasn't raced on a good track since Boxing Day last year, but Graham is confident her charge will travel equally as well on top of the ground.
“We've only had the option to race on wet tracks recently, but he can handle a firmer track too,” Graham said.
“I don't really know if he's up to winning a race like the Grafton Guineas, as it is always a strong race.
“But he is in winning form, going well in the mornings and I figure it's worth giving him a try.”
Accompanying Kastelos in the float today will be Graham's other Ramornie-day hope, Homenow, which contests the Mark Bloomer Transport Handicap (1700m).
“He is racing really well, too, but I'm a little more concerned about the firmer ground for him.
“He tends to race best with a bit of cushion underfoot,” she said.
“I'd prefer he had a little less weight and the jar out of the ground, but I can't knock the way he has been racing.”
Graham will also be back tomorrow with unbeaten two-year-old Leviosa for a shot at the $27,000 Inglis Bonus (1200m) race which carries a $50,000 bonus to the winner.
Unfortunately, the young filly's chances were dealt a blow when she was assigned barrier 16.
“She's a lovely little filly, it's just a tragedy she's drawn the alley she has,” Graham said.
“I can't do anything about that and it will be up to (jockey) Robert (Thompson) to make the best of a bad stall.”
“She hasn't struck a dry track yet either, but I think she'll enjoy it, she has a lovely floating action when you ride her.”