Donna Scott’s warrior set for Holbrook assignment

The Donna Scott-trained Halo Warrior will carry the top weight in Saturday’s Holbrook Cup. Photo: Border Mail/ACM.

Donna Scott will only have to drive 40 minutes down the Hume Highway to race at Holbrook on Saturday, and the Albury trainer will take a team of five to the famous once-a-year race meeting.

Halo Warrior (Ruby Haylock) and Siasha Jewel (Olivia Chambers) will contest the $15,000 Elders Ltd. Commander Holbrook Cup (1400m), Keith (Hannah Le Blanc) and Zouzouli (Simon Miller) take on The Holbrook and Woolmargama Hotel’s Ladies’ Bracelet (1100m), and Bundy Chaser (Simon Miller) will go around in the Holbrook Breeder’s Australia Maiden Handicap (1100m).

“It’s a good little day and a good day for the owners,” Scott told NSW Country and Picnic Racing. 

“We’ve got a little spelling farm only 20 minutes from Holbrook, and hopefully, it dries out a bit, and we can get there for a good day.”

While Scott has runners duel-nominated for Holbrook on Saturday and Gundagai on Sunday, she expects Halo Warrior and Siasha Jewel to race in the Holbrook Cup unless the weather gods have other plans. 

Halo Warrior has been a good earner for connections, with the six-year-old a seven-time winner, and Scott thinks the race will suit the top weight, which the handicapper allotted 61kg.

“Halo Warrior is a bit hard to place, and Open Handicaps are hard to find, and to be fair, he’s at the end of his preparation,” Scott said. 

“This race suits and everyone loves to have a cup on the mantlepiece, and he should go well there.”

There has been some rain about, and Holbrook was rated a heavy ten according to the Racing NSW website when publishing this article, and connections will be hoping the Southern Districts racecourse dries out a bit before Saturday. 

“He is definitely a horse that wants to be on top of the ground,” Scott said. 

“It should be fine for the next couple of days, so the sun might come out and dry it out a little bit.”

Siasha Jewel is lightly-raced, having started nine times for a win, but she gets in on the minimum (55kg) and is first up from an 11-week let-up. 

“She’s probably thrown in there more because she is a horse that wants to get out to the mile,” Scott said. 

“She needs the run, and it’s a bit of a day out for the owners, but she is definitely in there more for fitness than anything else.

Scott’s best chance will be in the Ladies’ Bracelet, with Keith carrying 60.5kg in the 1100m sprint after Le Blanc’s two-kilogram claim, and he draws nicely and has winning form on rain-affected surfaces.

“I’d say Keith is the best chance. We’re just trying to find the right race for him,” Scott said. 

“He’s been knocking on the door, and he’s in at Gundagai too, but it’s a weaker race at Holbrook, and he’s drawn well there, and it would be good to get a win with him for the owners who bought him online.”

It will undoubtedly be a big day for Scott and visiting trainers at Holbrook, and the program now offers seven races after the 1400m Benchmark 45 Handicap was split into two due to the volume of nominations. 

The non-TAB program has been very well-supported, with 97 acceptors and capacity fields in every event. 

For more on the family race day, including fashions on the field, kid’s entertainment, etc., click here

For Holbrook’s fields, click here.