From: dubbledee Sent: 28/12/2007 8:42 AM
From today's The Courier-Mail:
Weather determines Hebitda's path
MICK Mair is keeping a close watch on the southeast Queensland weather as he considers a venue for his rising talent Hebitda over the next two days.
And opposition trainers are watching Mair's movements closely with no real zeal to tackle Hebitda.
Mair has accepted with Hebitda in the Magic Millions Trophy Plate (1000m) at Toowoomba today and the Equipment Funding Plate (1110m) at Doomben tomorrow.
Hebitda is likely to start an odds-on favourite if he goes to Toowoomba, the option favoured by Mair last night.
"I'll check the track conditions again in the morning but I am leaning towards Toowoomba if things stay the same as they are now," Mair said.
"The horse has done well but I don't want to go all the way up there just to run on a wet track."
The forecast is for showers to continue over the next four or five days, but both venues were in pretty good order late yesterday.
There are four youngsters dually engaged at Toowoomba and Doomben.
The other three are Saratoga and stablemates Que and Rufescent. Saratoga's trainer Ron Maund admitted he would prefer to dodge Hebitda.
When the pair clashed at Eagle Farm on December 15, Hebitda swept past Satatoga inside the 200m and raced away to win by more than four lengths.
"He looked a bit too big and too good," Maund conceded.
Mark Webb is another who will be doing a last-minute check on track conditions and the weather pattern before finalising plans for his two-year-olds.
"At the moment I would say Rufescent and Rocket Gal will run in Toowoomba and Que will line up at Doomben," Webb said.
"Hyde Park may be scratched from the Toowoomba race, which would be his third run in a fortnight.
"Hebitda looks hard to beat whereever he runs but it's amazing how horses can find it hard to win at their first run on the Toowoomba track.
Quizzical will be having her first look at Clifford Park in the $100,000 XXXX Trophy (1100m).
Her trainer Bruce Hill will be saddling runners – stablemate Symtina is in race three – for the first time in his own name, although he previously had taken runners to the track in his role as stable foreman for trainer Gerald Ryan.
"I know it has a record as a graveyard for visiting horses but Quizzical Lady is a very tough filly who puts in every time," Hill said.
Trainer Bruce McLachlan is giving Key Bar Nights a strong winning chance, despite her outside draw at 17.
"I thought she was a Melbourne spring filly until the horse flu ruled that out," McLachlan said.
"And she will be hard to beat in this with any sort of luck from the draw."