SA TROTS - Preview for Globe Derby Park Saturday 18th November
Owner-trainer Alan Cronin admits to being excited about the potential of three-year-old Royal Watch.
At Globe Derby Park on Saturday, Royal Watch looks to stay unbeaten when he steps out in the SA Pony Trots Three-Year-Old Pace (1800m).
The gelding will come from gate four in a field of six, with Ken Rogers to drive.
Royal Watch made a spectacular debut at Globe Derby Park on November 6 when he was a red-hot $1.20 favourite.
After showing speed to lead from gate one, he galloped badly and was a clear last and his winning prospects came into question.
Once pacing, Rogers had no hesitation asking him to improve and sit parked with a lap to go.
Over the final 300 metres, Royal Watch exploded away from his rivals to win by 18 metres, rating 1:59.6.
Cronin said the gelding was still very green and learning his craft.
“I did say to Ken pre-race last start to be wary that he might gallop as he is still so raw,” Cronin said.
“I actually thought he might shy at the winning post.
“As it turned out he hit his wheel which gave him a fright causing him to gallop. That was not something I had considered.
“I’m looking forward to Saturday night because it is another learning experience for him, against tougher opposition.
“I have set him for the Southern Cross series and Saturday will be a good chance to see how he is coming along.”
Cronin said he was happy with Royal Watch’s improvement since the debut win.
“Ideally, I would like him to be able to take a sit early on Saturday because he has a really good sprint.
“However, I’m thinking Ken might be forced to sit parked which will be a good test.”
Cronin, a hobby trainer, said he actually had four horses in training at present.
Apart from Royal Watch, he has the younger half-brother Hezrockinroyalty which last week won the Lordship Stakes and a horse he describes as a “problem child” Reign Shadow.
Cronin also has the smart Premonition doing light work.
“Ryan (Hryhorec) did a fabulous job with Premonition, but after his last run on October 10, I brought him home for a bit of a freshen up.
“He is working up nicely and nearly ready to return to Ryan.”
Saturday’s race will not be easy for Royal Watch as his five opponents all have ability and are capable of winning.
Trainer Paul Cavallaro has two runners engaged, Supercharged to be driven by Ryan Hryhorec and Sunshineanrainbows which he will drive himself.
“Her form doesn’t say so, but I believe Sunshineanrainbows is the best horse I have trained,” Cavallaro said.
“Unfortunately, she has issues and the vets have told me she will have a very short racing career.
“In fact, I am thinking of retiring her after the Southern Cross and putting her in foal.
“I thought her last run wasn’t too bad and she actually made up a lot of ground, but she is a bit of a day-to-day proposition.
“Supercharged is going really well and arguably could have won two of his last three runs.
“He worked well on Wednesday but maybe the guide is that Ken (Rogers) chose to drive Royal Watch instead.”
Another interesting race on Saturday should be The TAB App Trotters Mobile (2230m) with the three-year-old Aldebaran Stiles taking on the older trotters.
Two starts ago, Aldebaran Stiles, trained and driven by Ryan Hryhorec, was taking up to the best trotters in a heat of the SA Trotters Cup and looking certain to qualify for the final until he broke coming off the back straight.
The three-year-old eventually finished sixth and was made an emergency in the Cup but did not obtain a start.
He ran as favourite in the SA Trotters Derby last week eventually running fourth to Bullion Girl.
From gate one on Saturday, he looks certain to be competitive again.
He is opposed to the unlucky My Used To from the training partnership of Jill Neilson and Katie Wilson.
Last week, My Used To Be was balancing up early in his race before being checked by a galloping runner. He got into the race but galloped again eventually finishing last behind Phoebe Onyx.
His previous form was excellent, and he looks a strong chance.
So too does Skybreeze which won impressively at Port Pirie at just his second after two years away from the track.
Trained by Lane Johnson and driven by his son Corey, Skybreeze has won six of his 10 starts.
Story: HRSA Media
Photo: Walter Bulyga