ALBURY jockey Simon Miller will head to Warwick Farm today for the sole ride on Eklands, buoyed by the prospect of a wet track.
The Kevin Hanley-trained mare is a mudlark and should get the conditions to suit with the track rated a heavy (8).
The reigning Albury Horse of the Year has had three previous starts in heavy going for two wins by a combined margin of 14½ lengths.
Eklands finished seven lengths behind Sensualism at her most recent start at Rosehill on August 16 in strong Saturday company on a dead (4) track after the predicted downpour arrived later than expected.
“We went to Sydney last start expecting a heavy track,” Miller said.
“They ended up getting 30 millimetres at seven o’clock that night so we missed getting the conditions to suit.
“She’s not good enough to race in town unless she gets a heavy track.
“She should get the conditions to suit today but in saying that it looks a tough race on paper.
“With the spring carnival just around the corner a lot of the better quality horses are coming back and she meets some tough opposition.”
Eklands is quoted a $14 chance in TAB Fixed Odds markets.
The four-year-old mare has drawn barrier 13 in the field comprising 18 horses plus four emergencies.
“It’s nearly as big a field as the Melbourne Cup, I’m a chance to get lost riding against that many horses,” Miller joked.
“But seriously I’m not quite sure what to do tactically yet and we will have to wait and see how the track is playing by race five when she goes round.”
Fellow Albury trainer Graham Hulm will also make the trek to Warwick Farm with Smakatus.
The five-year-old, previously trained in Queensland by Liam Birchley, is having his first start for the stable.
Smakatus is quoted a $21 chance and will be ridden by in-form apprentice jockey Brody Loy.