Daniel Bowen will breathe a sigh of relief if Amirykal can win again because he has big plans for her in the early part of next year.
The Akeed Mofeed filly has done a good job in the early part of her career with two wins and three placings from seven runs and has shown enough to be set for bigger races than the Benchmark 58 (1400m) she will run in on Tuesday.
“She’s going to be a good horse,” Bowen said. “She’s my Country Championships horse next year.
“Even though her form suggests she loves it heavy, she’s just as good on a dry track. She’s pretty versatile but I think it (handling wet) is in the breeding.”
Amirykal will get a wet track and comes into the race off a third placing last start behind the super impressive Rotherburg, who won again at Rosehill on Saturday.
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A win on Tuesday will get her ratings points up high enough to not have to worry about winning again before the heat of the Country Championships next year.
“Her run was good in Sydney last start,” Bowen said. “She looked the winner but it’s all a long-term plan for her.
“We took her down to Sydney to have a trip away. I could have taken her to a harder race than this one now but she’s having a spell after this race, so if I can get another win with her she can come back ready to go (to the Country Championships).
“I want her peaking for the heat then improving again for the final.”
Bowen could have taken her up to Brisbane for a race but a half-hour float trip to Ballina was a better option.
“The trip to Sydney took a bit out of her so I didn’t want to take her away too far again,” Bowen said.
“If she wins this race it sets her up for the Country Championships next year.”
Amirykal will be challenged by Stuck With You, who she beat by half a length two runs back, and stablemate Lucap, who loves the track and wet ground.
“Lucap is a swimmer,” Bowen said. “His last run was better than it looks on paper. He just got too far out of his ground.
“After he won, he ran at Casino and his only disappointing runs were at Casino.
“I don’t think he likes the hill there but he has good form at Ballina.
“If I can run first and second I’ll be very happy. If she’s going to get beat I hope it’s him but I can’t see it happening.”
Lucap hasn’t ticked the 1400m box yet, however. Bowen feels the Ballina circuit will give him his best hope of running the trip.
“I think he’ll get the 1400m at Ballina,’’ he said. “Because it’s two turns there, they hold up a bit more.
“He can track up to them. He won over 1300m there and was finding the line, so we’ve got to have a crack at this race.”
RACING’S NEW POWER COUPLE: ‘DON’T USE ALL THE LUCK’
BEST BETS WITH MATT JONES: WAGGA
BEST BET: PETALUMATA (Race 4, No. 4)
This mare may be coming off a 14th placing last start but that race was much harder than this one and she scored two runs back on a heavy track so she can win again now.
NEXT BEST: CROCODILE COD (Race 1, No. 2)
He’s a 19-start maiden but is knocking on the door after placing at his past five starts. Today is his day with even luck.
Leg 1: 3, 4, 6
Leg 2: 1, 2, 4, 7
Leg 3: 1, 2, 3
Leg 4: 2, 4, 5, 10
JOCKEY TO WATCH
Nick Heywood has the responsibility of winning on Jaytee’s The Fox who has had his issues in the past but is a talent. Just Business is another good hope.
BEST BETS WITH MATT JONES: BALLINA
BEST BET: AMIRYKAL (Race 7, No. 3)
Daniel Bowen thinks she’s his Country Championships hope next year and if he’s right she should be winning a Benchmark 58 event.
TRAINER TO WATCH
Matthew Dunn is always the trainer to look at in these meetings. He almost trained the card at Murwillumbah last week.
Legislation will be trying to win his second race at start 30 in a Class 1 Handicap (1210m) and he came from near last on the turn at Moruya a fortnight ago to run a long-neck third.
“He really has been improving and was very good last start,” Jarvis said. “He’s finishing off his races great, so we’re hoping he can finally put it together.
“It’s tricky to get him to win but he’s feeling very well. Every time he races we think it was a good run but he’s not earning much money for finishing fifth, so hopefully he can stick his nose in front.”
Boom And Zoom is first-up from a spell in a Benchmark 58 Handicap (1020m) and the Jarvis stable is expecting more than one win this preparation.
“She’s had two jumpouts and they were both better than her jumpouts last preparation when she won a race and ran a lot of placings,” Jarvis said.
“We expect her to go well. She can over-race if she gets hunted out.”
Kattegat is the stable’s final runner in race seven and he hasn’t disgraced himself in two recent Highway races.
“We’ve taken him up for two Highways but he’s back in country grade to get some BOBS (Breeder Owner Bonus Scheme) money and it’s also a chance to try him at 1400m,” Jarvis said.
“That will let us do a bit of planning for next preparation, when we’ll know if he’s a Country Championships contender.
“He is settling well so he should run the 1400m.”
INSIDE MAIL WITH MATT JONES: BALLINA
Tough race here with a lot of inexperienced horses going around and a favoured runner scratched. The Red One comes up from Victoria for new trainer Jim Jarvis and these ex-Victorian horses who come up to the Northern Rivers generally do well. My Cousin James debuts off a five-length trial win which wasn’t run in great time but he wasn’t trying to break the clock either. Lucky Choice should get out and be running on the speed and will give a good sight.
BET: MY COUSIN JAMES TO WIN
Allares looks ready to run a big race third-up and she’ll sit of the speed and appreciate the little extra distance today. Watch the betting around Alkaamel who was formally trained by the Hayes/Dabernig operation in Victoria where he didn’t show a lot but this racing here is easier. Dollareuro led both his races under ex-trainer Bjorn Baker when being run down by a smart one last start. He should go well fresh. Flybridge is another first-up runner who ran in a Group 1 a year ago and is now in a country maiden. The drops in class doesn’t get any greater.
BET: DOLLEREURO TO WIN
Take Tea ran a close fifth last start in the same grade of race in Queensland and she goes well on heavy tracks so she’s going to be hard to beat here. In Waves might be able to sit a tough closer over this trip which he’s looking for now and he’s a good wet tracker too. Shackles drops in grade and will run the trip out strongly as an each-way hope. Prince Of Arran likes this trip but wants a drying track. He’s on the quick back up though and good enough to do well. Damit is a hope at his best.
BET: TAKE TEA TO WIN
Amirykal is a nice prospect and she’s having one more run here hoping to win before being set for next year’s Country Championships and she was great behind a smart horse in Sydney last start and she loves it wet. Her stablemate Lucap also thrives in soggy conditions. Stuck With You drops in grade here and ran a half-length behind Amirykal two runs back and the extra distance is a plus no and he’s the main threat here. Epplause should be in for a long way despite the wide draw.
BET: EXACTA 3, 4
INSIDE MAIL WITH MATT JONES: WAGGA
Petaluma won at Albury two runs back on a heavy track and is back to the right type of race after struggling in a Highway race. This is winnable. Just Business likes to get back and run on so he needs luck in his races but he does handle wet ground and if things go his way he can take advantage. High Advice has the big weight and wide draw but should run well fresh while Rare Gem and Eberlee have claims if things go their way and they have more wins in them. Rare Gem is due a bit of luck and should be strong late.
BET: PETALUMA TO WIN
Tocatchacod looks hard to beat here now that he’s up to 1200m off the back of a nice fresh effort when less than a length third at Albury when racing wide. He’s ready to win now. Gunzar is the big threat after two good runs for a first and second this time in. He’s obviously better this preparation and can improve his winning strike rate. Fabulous Fran has been running on well over shorter trips of late so 1200m is what she needs to get another win but she too has a poor strike rate. Atomic Sunrise is a big watch after formally racing in higher grade for Team Snowden.
BET: QUINELLA 1, 4
Kruanui is on the quick back up and that’s fair enough considering how good he is on a heavy track and he’s been so consistent of late so will be hard to hold out. Falling Waters is more than up to this grade and is used to carrying big weights but a genuine heavy track might be a query. Jaytee’s The Fox goes pretty well fresh and had ran in better races than this before. He’ll be coming at them late from off the speed. Hazel’s Diary can get away quickly and be on the speed in conditions to suit.
BET: KRUANUI TO WIN
Maddie’s The Boss doesn’t win to often but has been racing well and should get the ideal run in transit from the gate and be a threat in the final 100m. Blazing Zone shoots for four-straight wins and there’s no reason why he won’t do it as long as he carries the extra little bit of weight. Zaberfeldie looks to be the leader and he handles wet ground and should give a good sight.
BET: BLAZING ZONE TO WIN