Dubbo apprentice Jake Barrett will look to take advantage of a good book of rides at Orange on Friday, with the 23-year-old out to continue his good recent run at the Central Districts track.
Barrett raced at Orange on Friday when guiding the Brett Robb-trained pair of Great Buy and No Debt to victory, and he was impressed with the racecourse.
“I rode there when I first moved out west, but they hadn’t raced for a while, and it was my first time back there the other day,” Barrett said.
“It’s a really nice track. There is a bit of undulation, and you have to make a climb up the back and work your way downhill from the back straight, but I thought it played really fair, and the surface was spectacular and I’m looking forward to getting out there on Friday.”
Barrett will team up with the likes of Gregory Hickman, Mitchell and Desiree Kearney, Michael Mulholland, Paul Theobald, and his master Brett Robb when tackling Orange’s eight-race-card, and he praised his hard-working manager for organising some good chances.
“It’s one of the classier book of rides I’ve had since I’ve been back,” Barrett said.
“I’ve been a bit back and forward with suspensions, but I’m starting to get back into it, and my manager Anthony Taylor is doing a great job at getting me good rides, and he is managing Clayton Gallagher too, and you only have to look at our strike rates to see what kind of job he is doing.”
As far as his chances at Orange, Barrett believes his best arrives in the last race on the program when jumping aboard the Michael Mulholland-trained Sea of Flames ($2.50) in the 1600m Benchmark 58 Handicap.
“There is one I really like, which is Sea of Flames in the (Benchmark) 58. I ran a bit too wide on the corner last start at Coonabarabran, and probably cost him half a length and we got beat by 0.3,” Barrett said.
“We get the ideal gate, and we should be up on the speed and sitting third or fourth and he can cruise along at a nice tempo, and I think he will be hard to beat.
Barrett will ride another favourite when aboard the Gregory Hickman-trained Packer ($3.30) in the 1280m Class One Handicap.
“This is my first time riding for a city trainer, which is quite exciting,” Barrett said.
“He gets barrier two and I take weight of his back. He ran a good race last start, finishing third and beaten only two lengths in the same class and distance and I think he will be a lot fitter from that run, and he should be hard to beat.”
Barrett, who has won 38 races and still claims two-kilograms in the country, has been in good form ever since joining the Brett Robb yard, but he was the first to admit he still had a lot to learn as he continues to make his mark in the Western and Central Districts.
“I just try and give them every chance and that’s what Brett and Rodney (Robb) have drummed into me,” Barrett said.
“I’m an aggressive whip rider, and hands and heels rider, but that’s because I want to give them every chance, and the big thing for me is to try and stay out of the steward’s room.”
While action will be hot on track at Orange, it will be a good day off track, with the club putting on their family fun day.
Orange tips, trials, and tribulations
Race 1: 4 Don Pedro – $6
Don Pedro was solid on debut when flashing late to finish fourth at Bathurst, and last start got too far back at Gosford. He’s up in distance and Mitchell Bell will look to settle the Bjorn Baker-trained galloper closer to the speed in this seven-furlong event.
Race 2: 4 Ida’s Rules – $1.95
Ida’s Rules looked the goods on debut, finishing a good second over this distance and Dean Mirfin will have his filly primed second-up from the good draw.
Race 3: Change Is Coming – $2.30 (Best Bet)
This is a massive drop in class for Change Is Coming, with the Bjorn Baker-trained gelding dropping back from Benchmark 64 and 75 events to a Class One Handicap.
He’s won third-up before and he’s drawn to be on the pace.
Race 4: Arimathea – $2.40
The Dean Mirfin-trained Arimathea was a good winner first-up at Bathurst last month and she wasn’t disgraced when finishing seventh and beaten 3.2 lengths in a Highway Handicap last start.
She’s back in grade but only carries 60kg after the claim.
Race 5: How’s It Kev – $6.50
The locally-trained How’s It Kev was ultra-consistent last preparation, and he will enjoy being on his home track.
The Alison Smith-trained galloper trialled up nicely for this race too, finishing third over 1000m at this track last week, and he looks primed for a good first-up showing.
Race 6: Lady Tabloid – $4.40
Lady Tabloid has been very consistent for Nick Olive, and she steps back from harder Highway Handicaps to contest this winnable Class Two Handicap.
She’s drawn awkwardly but Jeff Penza takes the ride, and they are a big chance if they can get some luck in the early stages.
Race 7: Cheap Shot – $3.90 (Best Value)
Cheap Shot is blessed some ability and is drawn to figure in this race for trainer Gayna Williams and jockey Grant Buckley.
The drop in distance shouldn’t be an issue and if he gets clear running with a furlong to go, he will be tough to beat.
Race 8: 4 Sea of Flames – $2.50
Michael Mulholland’s yard is in good form, and he has a big chance in this event with Sea Of Flames.
Jake Barrett will get every opportunity to find a good spot from gate two, and barring bad luck, the Dubbo galloper will take some beating in this event.