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HAWKESBURY trainer Mick Attard has resorted to a number of gear changes in a bid to get Putt For Dough back on show at Kembla Grange tomorrow.

The lightly-raced gelding, a Provincial winner twice last preparation, resumes in the Tatama Pty Ltd Midway Conditional Benchmark 68 Handicap (1200m).

Putt For Dough’s octogenarian owner Bernie Young bought the Winning Rupert four-year-old online for $5000 after he had been unplaced on a debut in a 1000m Maiden at Tamworth last October.

He quickly recouped that modest outlay – and more – by winning consecutive races at Wyong and Gosford in January after finishing a close fourth in a midweek Warwick Farm Maiden (1200m) earlier that month.

Coincidentally, the mare who won the city race that day (Mad Darcey) is a rival tomorrow, and she edged out the much better-performed Big Parade in a 792m trial at Warwick Farm on June 9.

Putt For Dough hasn’t raced since finishing down the track in a Midway Benchmark 72 Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 18 when he missed the start by several lengths, and his chances were gone.

“Putt For Dough definitely has ability, but is his own worst enemy as he can play up in the barriers,” Attard said this morning.

“I gave him a month’s let-up after the Rosehill race, and he has had a jumpout on the grass at home in preparation for his return tomorrow.

“I’ve taken both blinkers and ear muffs off, and put winkers on and also ear muffs pre-race back on.

“Reece Jones knows the horse, and I’m happy to have him back aboard.

“Reece partnered him in a Hawkesbury trial last December, and also at his first start for me at Warwick Farm.

“Putt For Dough will take improvement from the Kembla race, but I expect him to run well all the same provided he does everything right at the start.”

Attard also has the inexperienced three-year-old Highland Eightgee (Rory Hutchings) saddling up for his second start in the Kingston Town Drive Provincial Maiden Handicap (1500m).

Initially with brothers Ben and JD Hayes in Victoria, Highland Eightgee had not raced when he was purchased online last November for only $3000.

He ran eighth on debut in a 1200m Maiden at Goulburn on June 5, but his trainer wasn’t disappointed with his performance.

“He was held up for a clear run and wasn’t beaten all that far over an unsuitable distance,” Attard said.

“He is a staying bred horse, and the 1500m is more to his liking in a race restricted to provincial horses.

“If he runs well, I might take him to Grafton for the Guineas (1600m) against his own age on July 12.”

Attard also had the Guineas in mind for his recent Hawkesbury winner Missile Max, but is now thinking more about a city target at Royal Randwick on July 15 in a Midway Benchmark 72 Handicap (1600m).

“Missile Max made up a lot of ground without luck when fourth in a 1400m Class 1 Handicap at Newcastle last Saturday, and his closing sectionals were excellent,” he said.

“The ‘mile’ on the big track at Randwick looks as though it will be right up his alley, and the race is worth a fair bit more than the Grafton Guineas.”

Local trainers Rob and Luke Price (73 points) lead Peter and Paul Snowden (65) in the Kembla Grange trainers’ premiership, based on a 3, 2 and 1 basis for first, second and third respectively.

Overall provincial jockeys’ premiership pacesetter Keagan Latham (88 points) is a clear leader over closest rival Jeff Penza (62) to secure the Kembla title, whilst Jackson Searle (23 points) is narrowly ahead of Zac Lloyd (22) and Amy McLucas (21) in the apprentices’ premiership.

After tomorrow, there are three meetings remaining before the season ends.

Racecourse manager Dave Anderson has posted a ”Good 4” rating for tomorrow’s seven-race program, and the rail is in the TRUE position.

*Words John Curtis, June 26, 2023 - Pics Bradley Photos*

SELECTIONS - Michael Craig

Race 1: 3 Highborn Harry nice efforts at only 2 starts;

4 Revelade no luck at only start;

2 Ekeler can improve on debut run;

Race 2: 8 Magic Carpet forget last start;

3 Kangaroo Court good chance first up;

1 Easement sound efforts only 2 trials;

Race 3: 4 Twin Turbo looks hard to beat;

8 Interventionist hasn’t had the best of luck;

1 Community each way chance;

Race 4: 11 Two Aye will be hard to hold out;

10 Satness looks the likely leader;

1 Apollo fitter for 2 recent trials;

Race 5: 4 Lovero should have race run to suit;

2 Sinner big chance again;

6 Millybella has trialled nicely;

Race 6: 5 Tinka’s Lad looks to have hit peak form;

7 Rahni Factor should be handy throughout;

10 Mad Darcey will need luck from wide gate;

Race 7: 5 Opito Ballerina very consistent performer;

13 Packer finishes solidly;

1 The Replicant ran home well when resuming;

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