Freshman trainer Michael Freedman is getting a crash course in how much luck plays a part at Happy Valley but his unlucky runner from Wednesday night’s meeting should at least carry the consolation of atoning soon.
Famous Warrior had a smart record in Australia under the name of Sneaky Glance, making rapid improvement in his last four starts to win four straight, culminating with a handy race, the Grafton Guineas.
Now the Grafton Guineas isn’t one of the big three-year-old events on the calendar but it is held “off Broadway” in July during one of the very good country carnivals in Australia, in the city of Grafton. That carnival always attracts some talented horses on the rise – world champion sprinter Takeover Target first came to attention there, for one – and the great thing about Famous Warrior’s form when he arrived here was that it looked to have some blue sky to it.
With only two relatively soft trials under the belt, Famous Warrior stepped out looking capable of a first-up win on Wednesday night but had to make do with fifth to Charity Glory after hitting some peak hour traffic in the straight.
A week earlier, the Freedman-trained Fortune Booth looked unlucky in finishing 10th with some serious roadblocks in his way down the Happy Valley straight so the trainer is getting a good impression of the downside of the quirky Valley track.
But if horses are being unlucky then they are running well, and horses which are running well should soon get the breaks that see them get their turn at winning.
Although he has already won four races, which isn’t usually a positive, Famous Warrior doesn’t seem terribly treated on a rating of 73, considering his form indicated he should grow into a horse capable of making a home in Class Two.
Wednesday’s 1,200m is probably as short as he wants his races, he ran very well and looks better suited when he gets over a little further, as his Grafton Guineas win was a mile event.
One thing’s for sure, Famous Warrior is going to improve when he gets some clear air and his traffic troubles won’t keep happening forever.