A FAVOURABLE barrier draw has Albury trainer Kevin Hanley upbeat about the chances of Eklands on her home track today.
Eklands finished second at her most recent run at Albury a fortnight ago when trapped wide but still finished gamely to be beaten a length.
Hanley said he expected Eklands to be once again fighting out the finish if jockey Simon Miller could capitalise on drawing barrier one.
“Today’s race doesn’t look any stronger on paper than her last start,” Hanley said.
“She’s drawn a lot better and shouldn’t be out wide this time with any luck.
“Last start she got trapped two and three wide and did all the work while the winner poked up on the inside after enjoying a cosy run.”
Eklands resumed from a 14-week spell in April and should be rock hard fit after four runs this campaign.
The four-year-old mare was a model of consistency last preparation with two wins and four minor placings from nine starts.
The daughter of Magnus also has a liking for her home track with both her career wins at Albury and the prospect of a rain-affected track also in her favour.
“She races best with the sting out of the ground,” he said.
“She seems to fire up when on her home track.
“She should be able to settle second or third and running out a strong 1400 metres won’t be a problem.”
Eklands is quoted as a $7-chance in pre-post markets behind her last-start conqueror in Princess Wiltons and The Sands.
Hanley will also saddle-up stablemates Miss Conceived and Equal Chance in the $15,000 Maiden Hcp (900m).
Miss Conceived is making her debut and is a three-quarter sister to Hanley’s city class mare Dry Shagny, the winner of six races for Hanley up to 1200 metres including wins at Moonee Valley and Warwick Farm.
Equal Chance is a recent stable addition, formerly trained by Gary McGreal at Mornington.
“Miss Conceived finished fifth in a trial recently and is improving all the time,” he said.
“Equal Chance is probably looking for more ground than 900 metres and will be a bit slow early but hopefully getting home late.”
She races best with the sting out of the ground. She seems to fire up when on her home track. She should be able to settle second or third and running out a strong 1400 metres won’t be a problem.