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Trainer 'Thinks' his galloper can turn around TAB Highway Flop

3 minute read

An emphatic form reversal following a heavy track implosion suggests impressively bred Don’tcha Think ($14 into $13 on TAB) can still vindicate the high opinion of wily veteran Stephen Jones into Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

Picture: Steve Hart

The So You Think protege contests the TAB set weights Highway Plate, 1500m Class 3 with 59kg and Rory Hutchings after tailing out 27 lengths on heavy at headquarters last month but rebounding with a dominant win at Tamworth.

After early career 1000m wins, Jones a long-time trainer for Gerry Harvey had aspirations for far loftier occasions.

"Always had a high opinion, big and strong and progressing like a Country Championships horse until Randwick?" Jones offered.

"I was unsure on heavy, drew wide up in grade, won well on soft but evident now he just doesn't handle the worst side of heavy. Just a different horse at Tamworth.

"The So You Thinks generally get through it but his only two real failures were on a heavy 8 and 10 drawn out at Randwick. He'd been so genuine."

The gelding is three wins and six placings from 13 starts but two poor Highway starts is the query.

Jones expanded after nothing was amiss with Don'Tcha Think after headquarters and he was kept in work and freshened for Tamworth dominance.

"Digger (McLellan) got off him and said he went enormous, wants further get him back for a Highway.

"So, we set for this, distance range and the set weights, only up 1kg, so well placed. We're only just starting to see his best.

"Late to mature and getting out to where his breed is best, 1600m to 2000m. And hopefully an upgrade for Saturday.

"Not concerned about the wide draw (17) he needs galloping room. Inside in big fields, you can get cluttered up."

The favourite is Rematch ($4.20 into $3.70) for Messara and Gavranich off a solid episode placing.

Also in the market is proven Highway performer Associate ($6) for the Seib stable primed by a recent Goulburn trial and the winner of a much tougher Southern Championships Wild Card at Goulburn.

Aside the champion So You Think never raced on heavy, his dual Cox Plates and 10 Group I wins were mostly on firm although he won twice on soft.

However, all of that is all on another racing planet away from the "Gardens" and a country Class 3 support to a Listed Lord Mayors Cup Raceday.

Racing and Sports

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