Gear Change the Key to A Bit Sketchy's Chances
Merv Dellar is confident that a critical gear change could be the key to A Bit Sketchy ending a 343-day drought in tomorrow’s Lui Camporeale Handicap at Kalgoorlie.
A Bit Sketchy goes into the 1200m 52-plus handicap from a strong finishing 1 ¼ length fifth to Aluminize over 1200m at Kalgoorlie on May 14.
That was her second start this campaign, after she jumped from gate 12 and finished eighth to the high-flying Too Clever over 1200m on ANZAC Day.
Dellar has put the blinkers on A Bit Sketchy and has booked strong jockey Alan Kennedy to ride her.
She has a superior draw in three, after jumping from six last start.
“She is very happy in her mind and work,” the trainer said. “She has not had much luck with the barrier draws at her past two starts but has a dream gate here.
“I know sometimes when they wear blinkers for the first time they can be a bit tardy out of the gate, but I think they will help her to be up a bit closer to the leaders this time.
“Her work has been very nice and I think she is my best chance at the meeting.”
Dellar has had a great start to the new Kalgoorlie season, saddling three winners from the past four meetings.
The former Simon Miller-trained mare Corvara has lifted the bulk of those wins, retaining an unblemished record at her three starts.
Dellar said the four-year-old had settled comfortably into the daily routine of the small stable.
“She was a bit nervy and was a matter of her growing in confidence,” Dellar said. “To give her that confidence she has been given a lot of personal attention.
“She was so nervy that she ran away and sat down in the corner one day.
“She had the saddle on her back and just sat down - I had never seen a horse do that.
“She gets plenty of personal attention and she is loving it.
“She is now far more relaxed and is as good as gold to handle.”
With Leonora’s racing carnival being held on the WA Weekend next week there will be a bye at Kalgoorlie.
Corvara will therefore shoot for her fourth straight win in a 1300m handicap on June 11.
Dellar has picked up another mare, in Seattle Stryker, from the Miller camp.
The four-year-old daughter of Stryker will have to jump from gate 10 at her first start for Dellar in the same race as A Bit Sketchy. She is to be ridden by Willie White.
“Her form has tapered off and the owners thought they would try her up here against the lesser grade of gallopers,” Dellar said. “She travelled nicely at her races but she did not do much at the back end of the race.
“Daniel Staeck (jockey) suggested that we should take the blinkers off her.
“She gets a bit nervy in her work and it could be a matter of getting her confidence back.
“We want to get her back into a nice rhythm in her races and have her happy.”
Revving To Win looks close to breaking her maiden status, after her close third to Madrid Centro in the Lisa Asling Maiden (1100m) on May 14.
Tomorrow’s rival Bolshevik cut the four-year-old out of second place on the winning post in the 1100m maiden.
“She is always willing to do her best, but she has a few shortcomings in being able to handle racing in Kalgoorlie,” Dellar said. “It is not her fault she tries all of the time, but the track here can be telling.
“I don’t do a lot with her in between races and she blew a bit after that last run.”
Revving To Win had won a 370m trial before finishing third last Sunday week. The in-form Daniel Staeck sticks to the Charge Forward mare and with the run under her belt she is bound to be fitter.
Dellar has plenty of time for another stable runner Willy Waytail, who may not be fashionably bred being a son of Husson Lightning, but he is showing a ton of courage.
Willy Wagtail powered home inside the final 100m to nail Ferg’s Gallop by a long head at his second start this campaign in a 1300m maiden on May 14.
He gets a change of rider for his step up in class with Mark Forder at the helm in the Jayden Pickering Handicap (1400m).
“The way he came home I think he is going to get better over further ground,” Dellar said. “He is very genuine and is enjoying what he is doing.
“I really like the horse.”
Willy Wagtail’s dam Hallowell Mist (Blackfriars) has produced three foals for three winners with Willy Wagtail’s full brother and sister Nacho and Turbo Tracey also saluting.
Willy Wagtail finished third over 1200m in a maiden at his initial start this preparation on ANZAC Day and is now primed for the step up to 1400m.