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  • Provincial Racing NSW


BRETT Lazzarini knows he is taking on a hotpot, but is keen to give apprentice Olivia Chambers an overdue city breakthrough on Saturday.

The Kembla Grange trainer didn’t hesitate to book Chambers for last start Wyong winner Life Coach in the 3YO Benchmark 72 Handicap (1300m) at Royal Randwick, taking advantage of her 3kg metropolitan claim.

Indentured to leading Kembla Grange trainers Rob and Luke Prince, Chambers has ridden five metropolitan placegetters; the latest at Randwick on May 25 when a rails-hugging ride from last on the home turn on $26 outsider Scopics seemed certain to provide her with that elusive maiden city triumph.

Unfortunately, such a brilliant ride didn’t bear fruit as Miss Jennifer surged wide out on track to nab her on the post.

Chambers, who began riding only two years ago when the onset of COVID-19 influenced her to change direction after the keen show jumper initially planned to head to Sydney University to seek a degree in Animal Bioscience research, is in career best form.

Prior to Thursday’s Kembla Grange meeting, she had ridden 37 winners this season, surpassing the 35 in her first full season in 2022-23.

“Olivia rides well,” Lazzarini said on Thursday morning. “I watched her nearly win that race at Randwick late last month, and she won on Feng for me at the Sapphire Coast on June 9.

“Her claim brings Life Coach’s weight down to 54.5kg, 6kg less than he carried when successful at Wyong on June 6.

“And he comes back to racing against his own age.

“Life Coach has drawn just past midfield and if Olivia can get him across and secure a nice sit, I’m sure he will run well.

“I’m aware there is a boom on the Godolphin favorite Kergeulen (James McDonald), who won a 1200m Maiden on heavy ground by a big margin at Kembla Grange last month.

“However, the second and third horses that day have both been beaten easily since in the country.

“I’m not saying Kergeulen won’t win, but my horse is already a city winner, has won two of his last three starts and has taken improvement from his Wyong victory.”

Whilst Life Coach is Lazzarini’s sole city representative, he also has Feng and I’m A Chocoholic lining up at the corresponding Queanbeyan fixture.

Story John Curtis, June 20, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos


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