In race eight on the Canterbury program tomorrow it’s one of the smaller trainers that could cause a bit of a surprise.
Shawn Mathrick has Pepin Hoaks in the 1550m handicap, a horse that’s been running consistently through some of the lower grades.
Last start he was given his chance in the city when he went to Moonee Valley and he finished a respectable fifth less than three lengths from the leader over a mile.
That was across a good surface too and with the wet weather around Sydney expect him to go to a whole new level.
The six year old has never won over good ground but is two from four on dead tracks, placed three from three on slow and only missed the money twice from eight on heavy.
It’s the major reason why Mathrick is at Canterbury tomorrow and from barrier one he feels he’s a real chance.
“As soon as we saw the rain we thought we couldn’t get there quick enough,” he said.
Canterbury is currently a Slow 7 but even with some improvement the horse should be in his domain.
“Even a dead five he seems to find another gear..that’s just his preferred ground,” he said.
Mathrick says he thought his horse was a ‘top chance’ at the Valley last start but he just got a bit lost over the final furlong.
He’s put on blinkers to help that problem and also take advantage of the inside draw.
“It’s going to depend on how the race is going to be tomorrow…he can go forward from that gate, he’ll be in the first four anyway,” he said.
Providing the horse is competitive Mathrick says he’s not afraid to keep following the bad weather all the way up the east coast.
“He might end up on a truck and straight to Brisbane after,” he said.
“My father always said keep yourself in the best company and your horses in the worst.”
Pepin Hoaks is the equal bottom rater in the race on 66 but with 54kgs he’ll be presented in the best condition possible.
“He travelled beautifully, went up last night and didn’t move, stuck his head straight into the tucker bowl this morning,” he said.