Lindsay Park co-trainer Tom Dabering is finding it hard to split his two runners, He Or She and Jacquinot Bay, in the Group 1 $500,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
There was only a length between then when He Or She and Jacquinot Bay finished third and fourth behind the Darren Weir trained stablemates Palentino and Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 $500,000 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 10.
Dabernig said that both geldings would run well again and he can’t see there being a great deal between them in the Underwood Stakes.
“We are happy with our two heading into the race,” Dabernig, who trains in partnership with David and Ben Hayes, told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“On their runs the other day He Or She finished in front of Jacquinot Bay, just in front, so I would probably say that I might slightly favour him. They are pretty similar type of horses and there is not a lot between them.”
“Tough race of course but I think they are both each way chances.”
Dabernig expects Black Heart Bart to be hard to beat even though he stepping up to the 1800m after getting run down by Palentino at the end of the 1600m in the Makybe Diva Stakes.
“It is going to be a solid race. Black Heart Bart the other day I thought he pulled a little bit so he might be better for having that run at the mile going out to 1800m. He is a query but he was only beaten a length over the mile. He is a tough high class horse so he deserves to be favourite and it is hard to know how it will play out.”
He Or She hasn’t won beyond 1600m and his only run over 1800m resulted in a tenth of thirteen in the Group 2 $200,000 Crown Golden Ale Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield during the 2016 Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
Jacquinot Bay also hasn’t won over the Underwood Stakes distance but has recorded a win over 2000m when he took out the Listed $200,000 Canberra Cup at Canberra in 2014.
Craig Williams will have the mount again on He Or She and from the inside gate Dabernig can see him getting a nice trail just behind the leading bunch.
“It was a really good run in the Makybe Diva and I think from one he is a horse, who we have seen at different times get back, but I think will be able to sit a little bit closer in the run and since he has had blinkers on he travels into the bends and third up I think he is getting to his top as well.”
Dabernig can also see Jacquinot Bay getting a sweet run from barrier three with Damian Lane taking over the reins from Nick Hall who will be riding the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young trained Tavagao.
“He is really in a purple patch of form and we are making hay while the sun shines,” Dabernig said.
“He will get a nice run from barrier three. There is probably not a huge amount of speed. He will just travel close to the pace and I think 1800m is a lovely trip for him.”
“He is hard and fit and I think he will be in it for a long way.”
The field for the Underwood Stakes has been reduced to ten runners following the early scratching of the Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Our Ivanhowe who sustained a small cut to his leg while working at the beach earlier in the week.
Black Heat Bart sits at the top of the market order for the Underwood Stake at $2.45 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the Kris Lees trained Lucia Valentina at $4 with He Or She on the fourth line of betting at $11 while Jacquinot Bay is marked as one of the outsiders of the field at $26.
Market order for the Underwood Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.45 Black Heart Bart, $4 Lucia Valentina, $6 Awesome Rock, $11 He Or She, $12 Tarzino, $15 Tavago, $18 The Cleaner, $26 Jacquinot Bay, $31 Prince Of Penance, $81 Howard Be Thy Name.