TRAINER Geoff Duryea has revealed he contemplated scratching News Girl before her impressive victory in the $100,000 Open Handicap, (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Caulfield track was downgraded from a soft 7 to a heavy 8 after the second race with News Girl having never previously raced on a heavy surface.
However, a conversation between jockey Lewis German and stable foreman Paul Duryea in the lead-up to the race convinced Geoff to let his stable star go around.
Geoff wasn't able to attend the meeting due to the coronavirus restrictions and remained home at Corowa.
"To be honest, I was 50/50 in regards to scratching her," Duryea said.
"I wasn't allowed to go obviously but Paul spoke to Lewis and in his opinion the track was still racing quite well despite the heavy rating.
"His advice to Paul was he would be able to find some better going out wide in the straight and we should let her go around.
"Hearing that swayed me to letting her start and it obviously paid dividends in the end."
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After racing just off the pace, German hooked News Girl ($6.50) out to the middle of the track at the 300m mark.
News Girl produced her customary burst of speed and overhauled Coruscate in the concluding stages to notch her third victory at Caulfield.
"I'm glad I listened to Lewis' advice because his assessment of the track proved to be spot-on," he said.
"I think Lewis has ridden her four times now and every time he has ridden her a treat.
"She thrives at Caulfield and there is only one corner for her to get around and the way the races are run suits her down to the ground."
Duryea said the win wouldn't have been possible without the assistance of Wangaratta-based trainers Renee and Michael Hoysted.
"Because of the coronavirus restrictions, News Girl has to be transported to and from somebody that is based in Victoria," he said.
"I rode for Renee's grandfather and Michael's father and I can't thank them enough for making Saturday's win possible.
"It was a different feeling sitting at home watching when News Girl was racing and I nearly wore out the carpet pacing up and down thinking if I should scratch her or not."
Duryea said he was keen to return to Melbourne for News Girl's next start but hadn't had time as yet to sit down and find a suitable race.