Rikki Tikki Tavi Freshened Up
Leading trainer Peter Fernie is upbeat about Rikki Tikki Tavi having the freshness in his legs to cope with the drop back to 1100m in tomorrow’s (Sunday) Almighty Albion Handicap at Kalgoorlie.
Rikki Tikki Tavi was stretched to 1400m at Belmont Park last start where he ran a close third to War Ksar in a blazing three-way finish to the $60,000 Provincial Championships Final, on May 27.
Part-owner Chris Wells is hopeful of a big weekend with his star sprinter Scales Of Justice the hot favourite in today’s Group 3 Hyperion Stakes (1600m) at Belmont.
Fernie has freshened Rikki Tikki Tavi in the 22 days since his Belmont start at his Cambana Lodge.
“He has freshened up well and is going along very good,” Fernie said. “He is better suited over the 1100m than the 1400m.
“He has a lot more zip over the shorter distance.”
The five-year-old has the impressive statistics of two wins and three seconds at his five starts over the trip at Kalgoorlie.
Rikki Tikki Tavi does rise two kilos to 59kg in the handicap, but he did win at the only other time he carried the weight over 1100m at Northam on April 23, 2015.
Perth-based jockey Mitchell Pateman has the task to cross Rikki Tikki Tavi from the widest gate in nine.
Fernie and Pateman have proven a lethal combination this year with the pair combining 35 times for 10 wins and eight places.
Fernie continued his dominance of Goldfields’ training ranks with a double last Sunday to be perched on 14 wins – nine wins ahead of his closest rival Brett Mathews.
Pateman is the leading jockey with 13 Kalgoorlie wins - nine wins clear of apprentices Fiona Bell and Fred W Kersley.
“Glenn Smith has done most of the riding for me over recent seasons, but his kids are growing up and he wanted to spend more time with them,” Fernie said. “Mitchell took up the offer and things have worked out quite good.”
Fernie and Pateman look set for another profitable day joining forces with Prayer In Cee (Race 3), Someday One Day (R5), Moment Of Pride (R6) and Omerta (R7).
Fernie gang tackles the Exchange Hotel Handicap, saddling four runners – Moment Of Pride, Prohurst Express, High Limit and Crown Saga - in the 1200m handicap.
Fernie has helped Prohurst Express cope with his big weight on 60kg, by booking Fred W Kersley. The in-form Kerlsey’s 2kg claim reduces his impost to 58kg.
“The draw is awkward (8), but Fred is riding well and his claim helps with the big weight,” Fernie said.
Fernie has Willie White replacing Aaron Mitchell on High Limit and fledgling apprentice Maddison Brown riding Crown Saga.
Brown made a perfect start to her new career, riding Pinball Wizard to win at Pinjarra at her first ride in a race on June 8.
The youngest daughter of harness trainer-driver Colin Brown had driven 100 winners in the sulky, joining sisters Kellie and Kate Kersley, Sue Roberts, Kiara Davis and Lauren Jones, as the sixth female to achieve the milestone.
Her four-kilo claim reduces Crown Saga’s weight to 55kg.
“She is only a little mare and has not been finishing off her races. The bit more weight off her back may help.
“High Limit has been slightly disappointing, but on his best form is a chance.
“Moment Of Change is going along well.”
Fernie believes a superior barrier draw in two can assist Someday One Day to bounce back into top form in the Palace Hotel Handicap (1760m).
Someday One Day won over 1600m at his first Kalgoorlie start on May 28, but then finished 10th over the same trip here last Sunday.
“He was caught off the track and was three deep from his wide gate (10),” Fernie said. “I would just forget the run.”
Fernie has respect for Omerta and Senorita Bonita, to carry 54kg with Kersley’s 2kg claim, in the last race – the Star and Garter Handicap (1200m).
“Omerta nearly beat Corvara first up and she is unbeaten here this campaign,” Fernie said. “On his best form he should be right there.
“Senorita Bonita has been a little disappointing since her maiden win here, but we will try to ride her more forward from her middle gate (7).”
Fernie warned punters not to overlook Prayer In Cee in the Kalgoorlie Overland Motel (1400m) and dismiss his poor form over 1200m at Leonora’s carnival meeting a fortnight ago.
“He just didn’t handle the dirt and on his best form he is a chance.”