Bartley's duo both face new challengesTuesday 19 January 2021
One arguably goes best in the wet and the other is an unknown at the trip but Tracey Bartley remains optimistic about the chances of Moana Jewel and McCormack who head to Randwick.
Bartley acknowledged both horses would be facing individual tests but the astute Wyong trainer said he expected his stable stalwarts to perform well on Saturday.
Moana Jewel will tackle the Benchmark 72 over 1400 metres, while at his twenty-fifth appearance, McCormack will be stepping out to 1600 metres for the first time in a Benchmark 88.
Moana Jewel failed to worry the judge in three Spring assignments on dry tracks but the daughter of Ocean Park reinforced her credentials with a resounding win in the heavy going at Warwick Farm first-up.
"We hoped to have her right for the Tibbie Stakes at Newcastle last campaign but not much went right with her preparation and she never got there," Bartley said.
"I was very happy with her win the other day and she was entitled to do that."
Randwick is currently rated in the Good range but the Group-one winning trainer issued a warning that last year's Provincial Championship runner-up could be just as effective on firmer tracks.
"She's New Zealand bred and does like a bit of cushion but in saying that she's also proven on top of the ground."
"If she holds her form I think she'll be terribly hard to beat," he said.
McCormack will once again be pitted against exciting four-year-old All Time Legend and it will take a big performance to turn the tables but Bartley said it was the right time to test the horse out to a mile.
"We were hoping to get there last campaign but things didn't work out and we gave him a break after the Cameron Handicap," Bartley said.
McCormack ran fifth to All Time Legend when they last met on January 9th but Bartley indicated the son of Eurozone had come on well since that race.
"It wasn't a bad run last start but he had the chance to lead that day and he probably should have," Bartley said.
"He's done really well since and I expect he'll put in a good performance."
McCormack is raced by the Phillips family who run Lee Carrow, a boutique pre-training and spelling farm near Inverell.
McCormack's breeding suggests the five-year-old will have no issues stretching it out to 1600m.
His dam All Black Girl is an unraced sister to Gloaming Stakes winner All Black Gold, who is a half brother to Doomben Cup winner Mr Bureaucrat.
McCormack's sire Eurozone celebrated his biggest winner last Saturday with Krone taking out the $1 million Gold Coast Magic Millions fillies and mares race.