Harley Down returns after well-earned break
HARLEY Down, who made a spectacular debut for trainer Graeme Want at Grafton in late August, makes a much-anticipated return to the same venue tomorrow.
The Shovhog four-year-old tackles the CRJC Grafton Event Centre Class 1 Hcp (1000m) with Terry Treichel in the saddle.
Harley Down created a huge impression when the gelding overcame severe difficulties in running to score a length win in a 1200m maiden at his home track on August 30.
It was a remarkable win after being heavily supported from $6 into $3.50 favouritism.
Harley Down copped a bad check mid-race, was restrained, lost ground and dropped back to second last in a big field. Revved up and taken four and five wide rounding the home turn, the gelding then got hampered, squeezed between runners at the 150m but amazingly burst through late and hit the line with gusto.
Want, 58, an astute, old-school horseman who boasts a great strike rate from a small team of five horses - "Two too many," he joked - immediately gave Harley Down a short break.
"He (Harley Down) shows potential, a way to go though," Want said.
"He pulled up good after Grafton. I've just pottered around with him since, freshened him up.
"He's done good."
A powerful gelding, still green and immature, Want is in no rush to untap Harley Down's obvious ability.
"We'll just get through tomorrow and see what happens," Want said. "We know he can get to the line. My worry is the 1000 metres might be a bit short for him.
"I didn't put a kid on him, he's a bit green for that yet. He's no problem on the track but race day is different."
To keep Harley Down up to the mark, Want trialled him at Coffs Harbour on September 9, the gelding beaten a half length into second behind General Redoute.
"He got through the trial good; right for tomorrow," Want added.
Harley Down will carry 59kg. Barrier one, a definite advantage.
Want will also saddle up Extra Excelleration in the Iluka Bowling Club Iluka Cup (1200m).
The five-year-old gelding, with three wins and four placings from 11 starts, resumed with a solid third to Built Tough and Wiangaree over 1000m at Ballina on September 8.
"It's a tough race and my horse is badly handicapped (59.5kg)," Want reasoned.
"The horse however, has done well since Ballina."