A week after snow and bitter winds lashed parts of the central tablelands, astute Mudgee trainer Mark Milton will make the trip over the mountains for a two-pronged attack on the Tab Highway Handicap at Rosehill.
Milton, who recently moved his stables from Gulgong onto the track at Mudgee, brings the lightly-raced Harley Fat Boy and consistent mare Polished Penny to town for Saturday’s 1400 metre race, with both horses coming off strong runs at Forbes earlier this month.
The part-time electrician has been training horses for around 30 years and is delighted by the way both his charges have been performing.
Harley Fat Boy is out of the Milton-owned and trained mare Jali, who gave him his first city winner in 2011.
He will be piloted by the mercurial and highly-talented Jake Pracey-Holmes, who has had a long and successful association with the Milton stable.
Pracey-Holmes’ first city winner as an apprentice came aboard the Milton-trained Raised A Legend when he scored at Canterbury as a $71 chance five years ago.
“I expect ‘Harley’ will go back from the wide gate (14) but he has a really good turn of foot and we’ll hope there’s plenty of speed, as there quite often is in these TAB Highways,” Milton said.
The Gulgong-based Pracey-Holmes has ridden Harley Fat Boy in six of his seven starts, which included his maiden win over 1310m at Dubbo in June.
Until recently, Polished Penny had the unwanted tag of being one of the best maiden gallopers in the Central districts but that was finally shaken off at her 22nd start with a well-deserved win under Pracey-Holmes at Mudgee last month.
“She’s no champion but she’s super honest, always picking up a cheque,” Milton said.
Kathy O’Hara replaces Irish-born apprentice Ellen Hennessy, who rode the daughter of stakes-placed mare Paulini to an eye-catching third on the spacious Forbes circuit on August 3.
“I expect Polished Penny to be closer, about midfield or better. I don’t want to waste the nice barrier,” Milton said.
Harley Fat Boy was at $15 with Tab fixed odds on Friday while Polished Penny was a $26 chance.