Rachael Stone trusts her judgement is spot on when High Limit tackles the TABtouch Provincial Sprinters Heat (1230m) at Albany’s season-opening meeting on Sunday.
Stone opted for Albany over Ascot on Saturday but High Limit won’t be having it all his own way after drawing wide and facing a couple of smart locals in the line-up.
Paul Hunter’s Quality Fair stood out as an impressive type in his maiden campaign last year, collecting three wins from four starts, and looks primed after a trial win.
The Trade Fair gelding has drawn ideally in barrier four for jockey Mitchell Pateman who marks his return to competitive race riding after an absence of several months.
Bindaree Lady can cap a terrific week for stalwart Great Southern trainer, Dixie Solly, who was awarded life membership by the Country Racing Association last Friday.
The four-year-old, an Oratorio mare, tuned up for her return with a trial win over last season’s Horse of the Year, Run Liam Run, but has drawn awkwardly.
High Limit, previously in the care of Simon Miller, has gone around twice for Stone, a fledging trainer, who was granted a licence earlier this year.
He ran a bolter in Kalgoorlie during the race round when he charged home to finish a half-length second to Feint Dancer (1100m), running the final 600m in 33.21sec.
He again worked home strongly from behind the field at his next start in Bunbury, but found the 1016m too short, finishing fourth and two lengths astern of Al Faisal.
Stone doesn’t consider barrier nine of 12 to be a problem for High Limit, a noted back marker, but remains confident a rise in distance will bring him into play.
“The step-up will be the key,” said Stone.
“At Bunbury he found it too short.
“The wide barrier is no concern as he gets back anyhow.
“He has pulled up a treat and I couldn’t be happier.
“He is in fantastic order, although it won’t be easy with Quality Fair hard to beat.”
Stone is hoping she can share the Albany spotlight with her partner, Glenn Smith, who has taken centre stage in the riding ranks recently.
Smith has captured three feature races this season including last week’s Prince Of Wales Stakes at Ascot when Akhedasset got up in an upset.
“It’s a great working relationship we have,” said Stone.
“We bounce ideas off each other.
“He is in pretty good form at the moment.”
High Limit, who has four wins from 28 starts and almost $100,000 in stake earnings, is Smith’s only mount on the seven race card.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli