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  • Provincial Racing NSW


NEWCASTLE apprentice Ben Osmond has been recalled for Crossfire Road at Kembla Grange tomorrow as the mare’s trainer Mick Attard seeks a two-track double.

It is 10 months since Osmond has ridden Crossfire Road, but Attard didn’t have to think too long about booking him for the Getting Ready For The Gong Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m).

“Crossfire Road has 60.5kg topweight against her own sex, and it’s just too much to ask her to carry that and win,” Attard said.

“Ben has only the one ride at the meeting, and his 3kg claim will certainly help her task.

“He knows the mare as he rode her not long after she arrived at Hawkesbury from North Queensland, when she ran third in a Class 2 Handicap (1100m) at Bathurst last November.”

The much-travelled former Victorian five-year-old was having only her second start for the Hawkesbury trainer after being purchased online for $5500 in February last year.

However, Crossfire Road didn’t initially race for Attard as he and his wife Sharon decided to send her to their son Chris (who was training in North Queensland at the time) when floods hit the Hawkesbury region.

He won two races with her at Townsville in April and May before she came back to Hawkesbury later that year.

Attard Snr has now also won two races with Crossfire Road, both at Muswellbrook, on July 30 and August 11 in Benchmark 58 and 66 Handicaps respectively at 1280m.

The well-bred daughter of Sebring and So You Think mare Darling Road carried 60.5kg at her last run when she stepped up to provincial grade and ran third to Captain Amelia in a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m) at Gosford on August 24.

“Crossfire Road has trained on well since the Gosford race,” Attard said. “It won’t be an easy race to win, but she deserves another crack at provincial company.”

Attard will be at Rosehill Gardens early for the 11.45am opener where he will start Putt For Dough in the Midway Benchmark 72 Handicap (1200m).

With Jean Van Overmeire on the sideline through suspension until Sunday, Adam Hyeronimus, who rode a double at Hawkesbury yesterday to lift his new season tally to 12, takes the mount.

Putt For Dough, following an impressive Kembla Grange victory on August 5, came from well back to finish second to Super Bright in a Midway Benchmark 72 (1200m) at Royal Randwick a fortnight later.

“We put him out on the grass for five days after that race before bringing him back into the stable,” Attard said.

“Unfortunately, he has drawn awkwardly tomorrow, but I’ve discussed it with the owner and we’re running.

“The other options were to wait another fortnight, which would be five weeks between runs and too much, or pay $400 and trial him at home on Monday.

“I will take Putt For Dough to Rosehill and our son and foreman Chris will take Crossfire Road to Kembla Grange for the 4.20pm race.

“I can watch that race on my phone as I’m tending to our other horses at home later in the day.”

Crossfire Road this morning was an $18 chance with in an open affair, with Randwick trainer Michael Freedman’s Write This Way (Keagan Latham) the $4.60 favorite.

The lightly-raced Written Tycoon filly at only her second start won a 1200m Maiden Plate against her own sex at Kembla Grange on August 26.

Freedman also has the day’s shortest-priced favorite Ducasse ($2) in the $60,000 Equimillion Super Maiden Handicap (1200m).

Ducasse, a promising three-year-old by Trapeze Artist, is dropping back in class from his first-up close fourth to Tom Kitten in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill a fortnight ago.

Freedman has booked 2kg claimer Jett Stanley to help offset his 60.5kg topweight. The Freedman stablemates have both drawn the rails alley.

. Racing begins at 12.45pm and the rail is in the TRUE position.

*Words John Curtis, September 8, 2023 - Pics Bradley Photos*

SELECTIONS - Michael Craig

Race 1: 6 Unstoppabull big chance on debut

11 Without looks the likely leader

8 Miss Bayles recent trial winner

Race 2: 3 Hellbetta never gave up when resuming

7 Diamond Flyer caught wide at Moruya

2 Barbarama excellent effort at only start

Race 3: 6 Autunno will be working home

5 Talento expect to be hard to hold out

3 Harper’s Siren could get an easy run in front

Race 4: 4 Verbek deserves to break through

1 C’mon Mate this trip could suit

9 Single Crown ran on well last start

Race 5: 3 Buillt won first-up last preparation

4 Ravello looks a good chance fresh

5 Deep Fury should be the value runner

Race 6: 1 Ducasse dropping sharply in class

2 Rhythm of Love impressive in recent trials

4 Cape Byron could easily surprise

Race 7: 2 Divine Glory has plenty of ability

3 Lomandra city winner last time in work

10 Write This Way will be handy throughout

Race 8: 7 Capital Heart hard to beat again

4 Cable Tie close to peak fitness

13 Bully For You tried hard last start

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