Country Championships glory could come calling for Mitchell Beer at Royal Randwick tomorrow, as he prepares Sky Call for the Newhaven Park Country Championships.
Sky Call was too good for them in the Southern District qualifier at Albury on February 22, coming from well off the pace to account for fellow finalists Bennelong Dancer and Thistledo.
The four-year-old Domesday mare than finished a very good third in the Benchmark 92 City Handicap at Albury on March 19, suggesting she is cherry-ripe for a crack at the $400,000 final.
The Albury trainer spruiked his runner’s chances, suggesting tomorrow’s feature race had been a long-term goal for connections.
“This has been the target race for 6-8 months,” Beer said.
“She is going very well, especially after her last run in the City Handicap, and I couldn’t be happier with her.”
Beer went on to explain that it has taken some time to get Sky Call ready for this race, citing some maturity issues.
“She is a bit of a quirky mare, she is a horse that has always possessed a lot of ability but we have had to be patient,” Beer said.
As a result of her unique nature, Beer made the unusual decision to transport the border runner to Sydney last weekend.
“She came up to Sydney on Sunday night and I came up on Tuesday,” Beer said.
“Normally my horses would be coming up Thursday for a Saturday race in town but usually you are waiting for acceptances, barriers, rain and all those things, but because we knew we were running, we came up as early as we could.
“I wanted to take advantage of the fact we knew we were definitely going around and wanted to get her up here and in her new routine as soon as possible.”
Sky Call’s chances of success in tomorrow’s tough race were increased after group-class jockey Glen Boss was named for the ride.
“I have a pretty good relationship with Bossy, he won a Group 3 race for me when I was training at Mornington and he does a bit of riding for us when we go to town,” Beer said.
Beer is confident his charge can put in her best career effort to date, and wasn’t worried about drawing gate 10 in the 16-horse field, believing he will start closer to the rail.
“I think with scratchings, she will jump from (barrier) five or six and everything indicates she should run one of her best races tomorrow,” Beer said.
“Before her recent efforts at Albury, she ran some nice races in town and she has improved since then.”
The popular Southern District trainer does believe Sky Call will go close to winning but acknowledged there is many strong chances in the rich event that is restricted to NSW country trained horses only.
“I think the race is so hard to assess because you are picking two horses from every corner of the state, and a lot of these horses won’t have met each other until tomorrow,” Beer said.
“She (Sky Call) will go well given the chance, but Bobbing is the deserving favourite, he has group form and his run to get into the final was very impressive.”