RUMBA QUEEN - With no trials to guide us the betting is likely to tell the tale for the Danny Williams-trained Rumba Queen who resumes in the JCF Contracting Benchmark 59 Handicap (1200m), however if the money comes the four-year-old is the one you would want to be on. Formerly trained by Tony Gollan and a Doomben maiden winner on debut in three starts for the Queensland stable, Rumba Queen was transferred to Williams on the back of a 435-day break between races with the daughter of I Am Invincible winning at Moruya at her second NSW start before being backed from $7 to $5 when down the track in a race at Warwick Farm with the Steward’s Report indicating all was not well with the mare slow to recover post-race. Rumba Queen has the form on the board to win the benchmark 59 race on Sunday if she is anywhere near right which hopefully the betting will tell us.
DESTINY’S HERO - Although he has only raced on six occasions it is possible to draw a conclusion on where the Jason Coyle-trained Destiny’s Hero is likely to record another win at this early stage of his career. A three-year-old son of Helmet, Destiny’s Hero will be chasing a second career win when he lines up in the Figtree RSL Bowling Club CG&E Class 1 Handicap (1500m). Destiny’s Hero has contested metropolitan races in four of his six starts without placing whilst the two times Coyle has ventured to a provincial track the gelding recorded a win at Kembla and a runner-up finish at Hawkesbury. The runner-up finish came two runs back first-up from a break before when Destiny’s Hero hit the line strongly in the race won by Schubert before finishing just over three-lengths from the winner at Warwick Farm last start. A Kathy O’Hara ride, Destiny’s Hero is ready to win third-up in his right grade and it is worth noting the Kembla win was recorded over 1500m at the same stage of his first preparation.
PENSKE - The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Penske has made his mark in provincial company and will be chasing a third win at his sixth career outing when the son of Sebring contests the City Of Wollongong RSL Sub-Branch Gallipoli Cup Benchmark 72 Handicap (1600m). A Hawkesbury maiden winner on debut in three runs in his first preparation, Penske returned to racing chasing home Cedarwood in a benchmark 70 handicap at Newcastle on March 22 before recording the best speed ratings of the day winning a class one handicap at Wyong last start. Penske has the potential to be a city winner however there is another provincial win in him on Saturday.
SAXTON ROCK - It’s rare to see the top-rated horse in a set-weight race at the bottom of the weights but that’s the case with the Matthew Dunn-trained Saxton Rock who will be chasing his second career win in the Sawtell Hotel Country Class 2 Showcase Plate (1400m). With a 62-point rating, Saxton Rock is rated 1.5kg better than his closest rival in terms of benchmark ratings however gets to carry the minimum 55.5kg giving the three-year-old son of Snitzel a significant advantage at the weights. Saxton Rock should be right at his peak fourth-up and his last start effort when runner-up at the Gold Coast in a class three set-weight race looks a solid pointer to his chances back to a country class two.
THE DRAKE - I thought I had found one at big odds at Wyong on April 19 however storms late in the day forced the abandonment of the last two races and I didn’t get to find if I was on the mark with the John Sargent-trained The Drake, see our story here. Whilst the arguments presented in last week’s article are not evident on Thursday I am prepared to stick with The Drake in the Leo Pastega Memorial CG&E Class 1 Handicap (1200m). Although well beaten at Gosford resuming on March 29, The Drake was always wide without cover on speed and weakened badly at the finish. If we go back to his last run before spelling, we find The Drake impressively winning over the Gosford 1200m accounting for a subsequent metropolitan maiden winner in Montrachet. A repeat of that run on Thursday would see The Drake go close to winning.