Tarbert to start on top in a smart open field
OPEN HCP: John Shelton is looking to continue his good run of form when he saddles six-year-old gelding Tarbert in the last race, The Gung Hay Fat Choy Open Handicap over 1206m.
Originally slated to run at the Sunshine Coast, Shelton has decided to keep the horse at home in what he still thought would be a hard race.
"They're never easy when you get up to this grade,” Shelton said.
"It's a very competitive race. That said, I think he's earned the reputation to run favourite.”
Tarbert is showing $3.10 through Ladbrokes, and is coming off two wins and a second placing at his last three runs at Coffs Harbour, and a close second in his last run at home when held up at the top of the straight.
"He's a very honest performer and he'll give it a good run in the tough field,” Shelton said. "He likes to sit in the mid field and get along well, and he's been very strong to the line.”
Ben Looker will again ride the horse after Matthew Paget won on him last start three weeks ago. Shelton said he'd like to see a bit more rain on the track to help him out.
"The track is in good condition. They irrigate it really well and it's in good nick, though I wouldn't mind seeing another inch of rain,” Shelton said.
Tarbert starts favourite ahead of Armidale trained sprinter Radiant Choice, who is coming in after a 24-week spell and will be ridden by Paget.