Mark Milton will have cause for a triple celebration if the oddly named Harley Fat Boy wins for the first time in Monday’s Hit 92.5 Maiden Handicap (1300m).
Not only does Milton train the horse, he bred and part-owns him.
Milton trained Harley Fat Boy’s dam Jali, who won six of her 19 races. They included a hat-trick in the winter of 2011, culminating at Warwick Farm with Jay Ford in the saddle.
Milton sent Jali to the unbeaten Argentine racehorse and local sire Husson, which resulted in Harley Fat Boy. Milton’s wife came up with the unusual name.
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“He is a only a little horse and when they are fat they look like little fat ponies and his nickname was Harley,’’ Milton said. “It’s not so much to do with the motorbike or the tipster at Muswellbrook.
“But I can’t wait to get him over there because Gav Carmody will certainly have some fun with Gaz (Gary Harley).’’
Harley Fat Boy was $10 into $8 on debut at Dubbo on May 3 off an impressive trial win but was never a factor when finishing well down the order.
He did show sharp improvement 20 days later when he charged to the line from last at the turn to finish third.
“We were probably a little bit disappointed but Jake (Pracey-Holmes), who rode him, said that he got a little bit lost and that’s why we put the blinkers on for that second start,” Milton said.
BEST BETS WITH SHAYNE O’CASS: DUBBO
BEST BET: UNIVERSAL THIEF (Race 7, No. 6)
Greg Ryan has the ride on this in-form Wellington visitor whose past four runs have returned two wins and two very close seconds. Can certainly win again.
NEXT BEST: STELLAR BLAZE (Race 3, No. 8)
Almost guaranteed to be the best maiden at Dubbo. Ran a big race in the Gimcrack in 2018 and has been luckless from time to time since. Her best will win this.
BEST VALUE: HOLY EMPRESS (Race 8, No. 2)
Raced well throughout last campaign without winning but she gets her chance today off a terrific first-up run at Wyong when $19 into $12.
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
MATHEW CAHILL and GREG RYAN are set for an arm-wrestle in the Jockey Challenge. Maybe Cahill at the odds is the bet.
TRAINER TO FOLLOW
SCOTT SINGLETON has two headed to Dubbo — Stellar Blaze and Holy Empress — and both can win
BEST EXOTIC: QUADDIE
Race 5: 1, 2, 4, 9 Race 6: 1, 3, 5, 7
Race 7: 2, 6 Race 8: 2, 3, 17
“He’s drawn a pretty crappy barrier at Dubbo but Ronny (Simpson) takes 3kg off him, which will help because, like I said, he is only a little horse.
“In his trackwork, he has no idea what he is doing but he beats other horses without having an idea, so he is going to progress once the penny drops.”
That’s the perfect segue into Milton’s big hope today, Polished Penny, who can commemorate her 21st start with a first, and somewhat overdue, win in the The Gift Closet Plate (1600m).
“She’s had a few opportunities but hasn’t quite got there,’’ Milton said. “But she’s run second at Hawkesbury and Newcastle. She is just so honest and never puts in a bad run.
“The extra bit of ground will suit her. She generally gets back a bit and soon as you do that, you need a bit of luck.’’
Polished Penny is a granddaughter of Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Rainbow Quest, while her dam, Paulini, won the rich Inglis Classic for Kevin Moses and Corey Brown 15 years ago.
Milton’s stable veteran Escebee will be aiming for his 13th win when he tackles the unofficial feature race, the McDonald’s Dubbo and Wellington Benchmark 66 Handicap over 1000m.
“Even though he is an open-class horse, he is a nine-year-old now so he’s probably lost a bit of that class,” Milton said.
“But certainly the 1000m, or maybe even a bit shorter, suits him.
“He’ll be on speed there somewhere and has drawn a reasonable gate, so that will help.”
INSIDE MAIL WITH SHAYNE O’CASS: DUBBO
Aneesa is a daughter of Not A Single Doubt and Group 1 winner mare Trust Antonia whose other offspring include the Caulfield Guineas placegetter Huegill. Aneesa ran a creditable third at her first run for new trainer John Ramsey, who has placed her well here again today. Hammoon Jig ran a distant fourth in a deep open heat at Tamworth on May 18. Drawn well for debut. Fox On The Rocks may be a bit green but makes up for it with talent.
BET: ANEESA WIN; BOX TRIFECTA 5, 12, 13, 14.
Harley Fat Boy won a trial quite impressively a few weeks before a rather disappointing debut run here on May 3. Twenty days later, and with the blinkers on for the first time, the son of Husson came from last at the turn to run third. Headed in the right direction. Ditto that for Arrivederci, who is liable to peak here third-up at his home track, where all his runs have been. Stablemate Harwok’n’zoff was just behind Arrivederci here on May 18.
BET: HARLEY FAT BOY WIN.
Stellar Blaze is more talented than your usual 10- start maiden. The daughter of Star Witness was quite unlucky on debut in the 2018 Gimcrack Stakes and since then has run in some ridiculously strong maidens. Big run at Mudgee first-up. Now’s the day, surely. Lady Carmel is also a maiden after 10 starts but rarely runs a bad race. A player. Clint Lundholm- trained local Raposa has come back in good shape.
BET: STELLAR BLAZE; EXACTA 8 TO BEAT 6; QUINELLA 6, 8.
Allan Denham and Greg Ryan are a great combination and can add another winner to their collective tally with Lonhro son Sethlans. It is quite a strong Class 1 and maiden on paper but Sethlans put the writing on the wall last start when hitting the line really well under a big weight. That said, Polished Penny has been doing that for ages. Just can’t seem to win a race but it’s always luck and tempo with her. Clever Missile’s only win was here.
BET: SETHLANS EACH-WAY; QUINELLA 10, 13.
Cotton On George defied a seemingly unwarranted betting drift ($2.45 to $3.60) to win easily in a 900m maiden at Wellington. He led from the front with Mathew Cahill up and they should be prominent again given the good alley. Kody Nestor-trained three-year-old Forgiato won over the Dubbo 1000m on May 3. Massive player. Little Caesar, the son of Salade, has also won at this venue.
BET: COTTON ON GEORGE WIN.
Sons Of Bourke made it to Randwick for the Country Championships Final last year, which is a real feather in his cap, even if he didn’t get a medal. The Clint Lundholm-trained son of Haradasun has some compelling numbers. He loves the joint and is pretty good at the trip. Just second-up is the little niggle. Bengalla Bay was going great guns until his last start but he is perhaps down in class. Festival Of Light, Miss Powerbelle and Kookabaa are all in contention in a good race.
BET: SONS OF BOURKE EACH-WAY.
Michael Mulholland has Universal Thief flying. The son of $2 million yearling and now South African house sire Time Thief has two wins and two seconds from his past four outings and the seconds could easily have been wins. Greg Ryan will time this to perfection. California Fox met the challenge running a 1.5-length fourth in the Diggers Cup at Narromine last start. Go well. Harry New Shoes can figure.
BET: UNIVERSAL THIEF WIN.
Scott Singleton has two coming to Dubbo from his Scone base, the aforementioned Stellar Blaze and Holy Empress here in the final race on a very, very good card. This mare was bred by the great Bart Cummings, who trained her sire, Holy Emperor, and her close relation, Saintly. Only has to run up to the first-up effort and she will win. All Hollywood is two-for-two at Dubbo and was impressive here on May 18. Fiery Zone is a big chance if she runs.
BET: HOLY EMPRESS WIN.