An intriguing sidelight to Geraldton’s meeting on Wednesday is the battle between young gun, Sarah Childs and veteran horseman, Gordon Spowart for leading trainer.
It’s exciting new territory for Childs who is in search of her first Geraldton trainer’s premiership while Spowart is looking to extend his record-breaking tally to 19.
With five meetings remaining Childs holds the current advantage by 22 points and if successful she is on the cusp of creating Geraldton racing history.
If Childs can continue her record-breaking season she will become the first female to be crowned Geraldton’s champion trainer.
But with five points allocated for a win, three points for second and one point for third, Spowart is still within striking distance.
He will fancy his chances of bridging the gap on Childs with three last start winners, nine-year-old McScar, Natural Luck and Sharreada.
McScar is racing with renewed zest and since joining Spowart’s team he has collected three wins and two placings from his five starts.
The son of McFlirt lumps top weight of 61kg in the Graham Gray 80 Today Handicap (1200m), a rise of 2kg on his win two weeks ago.
It was the gelding’s first start since a colic attack last year and he should benefit from the run after digging deep to hold out Babieca Noire.
“He should strip a little bit fitter than the other day and I don’t think the weight is a factor over 1200m,” Spowart said on TABradio.
“He is a big strong horse who will bowl along and it’s no different to doing track work with a track rider carrying 65kg.”
Childs nominated Standup’n’deliver, Nat The Fyfe and Beach Bound as the pick of her stable.
Standup’n’deliver, formerly with Mark Bairstow and Michael Lane in Bunbury, makes his Geraldton debut in the Blessed Sue Maiden (1600m).
Childs said The Not A Single Doubt gelding is knocking on the door of an elusive win after six placings from his opening 11 starts.
“He has settled in well and hopefully Geraldton maidens are a couple of lengths lower,” Childs said.
“He will get a lovely run and I’m expecting a top show from him.”
Standup’n’deliver, who last raced at Pinjarra on February 7 when three lengths fourth to Echoes In Time, has drawn gate four. Robert Markou will take the ride.
Nat The Fyfe, once considered as ‘non genuine’, is chasing his fourth consecutive win in the Sugar Raegala Handicap (1200m).
“His work has been excellent and I expect another good run,” Childs said.
“I think he still on an upward spiral and if he wins again I will target the Geraldton Sprint.
“I’ve been through the field and I don’t think there is anyone with the ability to beat him.”
Beach Bound is dropping back in distance after he faded to fifth behind Natural Luck at his previous start over the mile on February 20.
Childs said there were excuses for the four-year-old, a winner two starts back, and she expects improvement in the Black Heart Bart Handicap (1400m).
“He choked down and in hindsight we should have let him roll along,” Childs said.
“I think he will run a good race.”
rwwa: Julio Santarelli