Murray Sharp modestly downplays his role in reviving the fortunes of Wanem Back and Big Clint who are chasing winning hat tricks at Geraldton on Saturday.
Sharp, who is enjoying a top start to the Geraldton season, says it’s mental rather than physical and nothing more than horses relishing a change of environment.
“Training horses is pretty simple and once you get their heads right everything else follows and takes care of itself,” said Sharp.
“Some of them can come to you with a few niggles and pain but they seem to thrive and flourish in a country stable.”
Wanem Back, a four-year-old by Husson Lightning, has benefited from the change after teaming up with Sharp as an 18 start maiden.
Sharp says despite Wanem Back’s previous modest record his form turnaround has not caught him by surprise.
“I saw him run third to Tick Tick Bloom at Pinjarra earlier in April and I thought then he had ability,” said Sharp.
“He is a versatile galloper who has raced over 2000m and could be aimed at the Geraldton Cup.
“It’s something that I might well have to consider if he gets up over further ground.”
Wanem Back, with jockey Mark Forder aboard, will start from barrier four in the Country Challenge Heat (1400m).
“From that position he will be able to lead and dictate,” said Sharp.
“He will be very hard to beat.”
Tick Tick Bloom, a Viscount mare prepared by Adam Durrant, was a star during the Belmont winter season, notching four consecutive wins including the Belmont Oaks (2000m).
Jordan Turner has given punters a lead by opting for Perth-trained Hey Bro over Big Clint in the C2 Morris Handicap (1100m).
The top apprentice, who celebrated his 16th birthday earlier this week, has ridden both gallopers to twin victories this season.
Hey Bro carries 55kg, a rise of 2 ½ kg on his last-start win over Celtic Rock (1300m). In a field of seven the Fath gelding jumps from gate four.
Big Clint, who has a slight ½ kg weight advantage on Hey Bro, will have the services of Mark Forder from barrier one.
“Hey Bro is going well but he has to come back in distance,” said Sharp.
“I think he could be vulnerable at the 1100m.
“Big Clint has being going well and is feeling good.
“My track rider Dean Esmonde deserves a lot of credit for his success.
“Big Clint was a hard pulling horse when he arrived.
“But after long slow work Dean has got his head right.”
Sharp says So Cute can run a competitive race in the Mark Bradley Maiden (1100m).
RWWA Julio Santarelli