Lindsay Park duo find a ‘nice race’ at Wagga

Rose Hammond will ride the Ben, Will, and JD Hayes-trained Mr Saxabeat at Wagga Wagga on Thursday.
Image: Echuca Race Club.

The Lindsay Park team will make a two-pronged attack in the heat of the Wagga Stayers Series Benchmark 66 Handicap (1800m) at Murrumbidgee Turf Club on Thursday.

Racing Mx Saxabeat and Angel, Ben, Will, and JD Hayes will unleash two major players in the race, which has popped up at the perfect time.

“It is the right race at the right time,” said Lindsay Park Racing Manager Dom Rhoden. 

“It’s a nice distance and good grading for them.

“Mr Saxabeat has won two races and is getting up there in his rating, and Angel finds a nice distance where he can build on his first-up runs.”

In an open race, where the Keith Dryden-trained Bringbackthebears is the $4.40 favourite, Mr Saxabeat is $5, and Angel is $7.

Mr Saxabeat is only lightly raced, starting four times for two wins. 

The Hardham gelding won his maiden (1600m) at Pakenham in August, and second-up from a 26-week spell, he was a dominant winner in a 1600m Benchmark 58 Handicap at Echuca on March 10. 

Two-kilogram claimer Rose Hammond takes the tide, meaning the Victorian will carry 60kg.

Angel, on the other hand, is a six-year-old Fastnet Rock gelding, which started out his career in France. 

After winning his maiden at Clairefontaine in 2021, he won over 2200m at Donald in late 2022 before being tested in the Victorian metropolitan staying ranks. 

Following a 25-week spell, he’s finished down the track when first-up in a 1307m Benchmark 64 Handicap at Stawell on February 22 before running sixth, beaten 4.4 lengths in a 1600m Benchmark 64 Handicap at Pakenham on March 15. 

Rhoden doesn’t believe there is much separating Mr Saxabeat and Angel.

“It’s pretty level,” he said. 

“Rose is on Ms Saxabeat. She did a great job at Echuca last start, and she has been doing a lot of work for us at the farm. 

“He is a good young horse, and we’re happy to keep her on.”

“With Angel, he is a big, strong horse, and we thought about claiming, but we opted to put the best available on as we think he’ll carry the weight. 

“Danny is king in the area, and we’re happy to have him in the saddle.”

The Hayes stable don’t often send big numbers to Wagga, but they boast a good strike rate there in recent seasons. 

“We definitely keep an eye on Albury, Corowa, and Wagga as they are tracks we can access from Euroa,” Rhoden said. 

“Often, we’ll have horses that do well on that leg, and Angel won on that leg in France, and horses that come back from Hong Kong do well on that leg. 

“Some definitely don’t handle it (the NSW way of going), and we don’t take them back in a hurry.”

The 1800m Benchmark 66 is one of the better races on the seven-race program at Wagga. 

Racing kicks off at 2.10 pm.