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BUOYED by a Kembla Grange breakthrough at his new home base, trainer Mitch Beer heads tomorrow to Hawkesbury, where he has enjoyed previous success on the club’s biggest day.

Beer, who has retained his Albury base but recently relocated closer to Sydney, has three runners – two of them in the market and a third who he considers could be over the odds.

His representatives are Fire Power ($3.40 in the XXXX Gold 4YO & Up Maiden Handicap, 1100m), Last Ditch Effort ($7 in the Blakes Marine Midway Maiden Handicap, 1300m), and $18 chance Flying Sultan in the Pioneer Services Provincial Benchmark 64 Handicap (1100m).

Irish expat Robbie Downey, who rode a Kembla Grange double last Saturday (including Beer’s $26 roughie This Is The Moment in the 1300m Maiden Handicap)), partners Fire Power and Last Ditch Effort, and apprentice Jett Stanley’s 2kg claim will lessen Flying Sultan’s 59.5kg.

“I’ve had a lot of time for Robbie’s riding ability, and when I mentioned that I was opening a Kembla Grange stable, he said it was in the back of his mind to give Sydney a try,” Beer explained today.

“He rang me from Gundagai when he was on his way to Sydney, and I promised him rides.”

Fire Power is making his debut for his new stable, having been purchased online by Beer for $32,500 in July after fetching $750,000 as a 2021 Gold Coast yearling graduate.

The now Written Tycoon four-year-old raced six times for Team Hawkes for a minor placing at Geelong in a 1135m Maiden Plate in June.

“Fire Power trialled nicely at Warwick Farm earlier this month, but I’m a bit wary as he has done that before and hasn’t been able to win,” Beer said.

“I’m looking forward to getting him out over further ground, but all the same he’s fit enough to win first-up and probably hasn’t struck the strongest maiden.”

Last Ditch Effort, a Reward For Effort four-year-old, has raced twice since resuming, including his latest third (albeit beaten three and a half lengths) to Zahdi in a Provincial 4YO & Up Maiden (1100m) at Hawkesbury on November 9.

“I thought he was a bit plain that day, hence blinkers go on him tomorrow,” Beer said.

“He has been sharp in the shades in his work, and hopefully they can improve him a couple of lengths, but he has an awkward draw (the outside in a field of 10) to overcome.

Dual acceptor Ambitious Creek (Jean Van Overmeire) will be a rival for Last Ditch Effort, trainer Anthony Cummings choosing this race rather than the longer 1500m Blackwoods 4YO&Up Maiden Plate.

Beer says his third Hawkesbury representative Flying Sultan is an interesting runner with enough ability to race well if he does his best.

“He is better than his two runs back at Wodonga and Benalla might indicate,” he said. “I freshened him and brought him to our Kembla stable, and he won a Warwick Farm trial on the Polytrack the same day Fire Power ran second on the grass.

“The move to Kembla has worked so far in that Flying Sultan has been cruising here in his gallops, but I want to see him do it in a race.”

Beer is gradually settling in to his new base, and says he hopes to expand his team to around 40 in the new year.

“We have 24 in work at Albury, and 21 at Kembla at present,” he said. “We’ll let the dust settle and find our groove, but I certainly want to nearly double our number at Kembla next year.”

Beer has had only three starters at Hawkesbury, and won the TAB Highway (1100m) at last year’s Saturday metropolitan stand-alone meeting with Hardware Lane, who is now trained at the Gold Coast by John Smerdon.

“We still own Hardware Lane, but sent him to Queensland hoping to get some wet tracks during the summer period,” Beer explained.

. Course manager Kyle Cassim has posted a “Good 4” rating for the eight-race program, which begins at 1.15Pm with the HRC Motel Super Maiden Plate (1000m).

Hawkesbury has received only 4mm of rain in the past seven days (none in the last 24 hours), and 17mm of irrigation has been put on the track. The rail is in the TRUE position.

*Story John Curtis, November 22, 2023 - Pics supplied*

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