Jamie Stewart is heading to Bathurst on Monday, confident that Super Sprocket can make it win number four in the 1200m Class Four Handicap.
The race doubles as the Country Championships Central Districts Preview, and the Moruya galloper has drawn nicely with gate two and has the services of leading country jockey Nick Heywood.
It’s typically a five-hour trip with a float, and Stewart said he wouldn’t be sending Super Sprocket to Bathurst if he didn’t think she could win.
“It’s a long way to go, and I wouldn’t be going there if I wasn’t confident,” Stewart told NSW Country and Picnic Racing.
“In saying that, it is a very good race, and there are some good horses in it, but I am confident she can hold her own and be very competitive.”
Formerly trained by Annabel Neasham, the Super One mare raced up north, winning twice at Murwillumbah in 2023 before being transferred to Stewart’s care late last year.
Her first two starts for the new stable were impressive. She finished second in the 1000m Benchmark 60 Handicap at Canberra in October before breaking through for a smart win in the 1200m Benchmark 60 Handicap in November.
“I haven’t had her that long, and when she got here, she was rock-hard fit, and I gave her those couple of runs, and she went well before we gave her a let-up,” Stewart said.
“It was just a case of getting a horse out of a good system and a matter of getting her happy and finding the right races.”
After her short let-up, Super Sprocket resumed at Moruya on January 19 and finished fourth after being beaten two lengths in the 1020m Benchmark 66 Handicap.
Stewart was happy with the run and believes the six furlongs will suit at Bathurst.
“She’s come back good, and the 1200m seems to be her sweet spot right now, and first-up, she did race well,” Stewart said.
“She spends a lot of time in the Moruya River and seems to enjoy the country lifestyle.
“I intended to run her on Moruya Cup Day, but she doesn’t handle the wet, so I was forced to scratch her.
“I was left looking for a run, and there was that race on our doorstep, and it was a good race to kick her off in.”
Stewart did have the mare entered for the 1200m Class Three Highway Handicap at Royal Randwick on Saturday, but he opted for the better draw at Bathurst.
“We accepted in a Highway on the weekend, but she drew badly there, and this race at Bathurst was the backup plan,” Stewart said.
“She’s drawn barrier two, and it just made more sense, particularly with the way she races; she is quite speedy and likes to drive forward, and she should be able to put herself in the picture.”
Stewart is giving Super Sprocket every chance, too, with the galloper arriving in Goulburn on Saturday and staying at Matthew Dale’s stables for two nights before heading to Bathurst on Monday morning.
“We’re lucky enough that she stopped over in Goulburn, and she’ll go across tomorrow,” Stewart said.
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