McGuren out to build on flying start to carnival
HE WAS named Jockey of the Carnival last year and Matthew McGuren is once again showing the visitors how it's done on his local circuit.
The Grafton hoop has won five races from the opening two days of this year's carnival and has a solid book of seven rides today followed by a further five tomorrow in his bid to add to his tally.
"It's definitely the time of the year to be hitting form,” McGuren said.
"There's no bigger thrill than riding winners in your hometown when there's a big crowd and family and friends are there to cheer you on.
"The first two days have been sens”gational, so hopefully things can continue.”
McGuren is booked to ride second topweight Keen Array for Toby Edmonds in the $160,000 GDSC Ramornie Handicap. While the trainer is yet to confirm the six-year-old will start the 1200m Listed sprint after drawing barrier 19, McGuren remains positive about his chances, which Ladbrokes had installed at $21 late yesterday.
"This is definitely the best ride I've ever picked up in the Ramornie,” McGuren said.
"When I looked at the odds this morning I couldn't believe it to be honest. His form's a lot better than his price. His Melbourne form is sensational and if he brings that to the Ramornie he'll win by two or three lengths.
"I know his draw is not ideal, but he's a horse that runs on from the back anyway and is a horse that can run on all conditions so the wet track won't phase him either.”
Keen Array ran seventh three lengths behind Brave Song in the Group 3 WJ Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm last start on June 22.
McGuren rode a treble on Westlawn Prelude Day which included Charmed Princess for Gosford's Tony Newing in the Grafton Guineas Prelude.
The winner of three of her past four starts is highly fancied to take out the $80,0000 Tursa Grafton Guineas Quality (1600m) in race six today, installed at $3.90 in a reduced field with seven confirmed scratchings.
"Tony picked this race out a long time ago and I couldn't she why she won't be running well tomorrow,” McGuren said.
"She was sensational coming from the middle of the field in the Prelude.
"Her draw is ordinary too, but she'll get out the back and rattle through the middle.”