Scone, Taree previews: Trainer Scott Singleton hoping his filly can make a solid contribution

Local trainer Scott Singleton has a knack of training outsiders to upset wins and it could happen at Scone.

Keen Contributer won’t be one of his double-figure horses going around and despite the wide gate (13) she’s a leading contender in the second race.

“She’s a nice filly and I think she goes pretty well. She’s a real racehorse who will have a go,” Singleton said.

“I think she’ll be a filly that will measure up in town over 2000m next preparation.

“The only knock on Monday is barrier 13. She’s jumping like she can be handy enough so she might be able to slot in somewhere.”

Scott Singleton will be hoping he can mastermind an upset win at Scone.Source:News Corp Australia

She will be ridden depending on how she jumps so the ride by Christian Reith, combined with a bit of luck, will be crucial.

“She hasn’t had a lot go her way in those two runs. She got dragged back on debut and got home well then it was a bit the same last start when she got too far back,” Singleton said.

“They walked and sprinted that day so it probably wasn’t a bad run in town.”

Baiyka would’ve just about been Singleton’s best chance on Monday had she drawn a barrier but will have to be good enough to win from gate 18 with Billy Cray on board.

She’s first-up in a Maiden Handicap (1000m) after showing potential in her first campaign.

“She’s a stronger filly now as a three-year-old and I’m pretty sure she’ll be in the finish,” Singleton said.

“She may end up outside the leader but it wouldn’t shock me if she led, that’s just her.”

Arite’s Rose has also got the visitors’ draw (12) on her home track in the sixth race and she’s got the potential to win but needs to lift a length or two.

“She was racing well in the first part of her preparation but I have been a little disappointed with her past two runs,” Singleton said.

“She’s been great at home but there’s a little question mark on her.”

Blue Velvet runs in the third race after a five-week break since finishing seventh on debut when getting back to near last in the 13-horse field.

“We quite like her at home so I thought she’d do more on debut,” Singleton said.

“She’s trialled since and Billy was happy with her work over the last little bit. She’s got ability and won’t retire a maiden so she wouldn’t shock me at a big price on Monday.”

Yorkshire Rock opens the account for Singleton in the opening race over 2200m and on her best form he’d be one of the favoured runners.

But he’s ran two ninth placings and an eighth this time in.

“He’s been a bit out form this preparation. The jury is out on him so he’ll have to do something in this race or he’ll be in the paddock,” Singleton said.

“We’ve been training him out of a big paddock and he might have been too active in there and taking the edge off himself so we’ve brought him back into the stables.

“It might be clutching at straws and maybe he just hasn’t come up. Last preparation he would’ve been more than competitive in this race.”

Thoroughbred action heads to Scone on Monday. Picture: Jenny EvansSource:News Corp Australia

TAREE: SPRIGGS CAN’T WAIT TO PUT A DIFFICULT YEAR BEHIND HIM

Blake Spriggs, like everyone else on the planet, has his fingers crossed that 2021 is a lot better for him than 2020, which he describes as the most trying period of his professional life.

While this season has been onward and upwards for partner Rachel King, Spriggs has encountered more hurdles than Red Rum but can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“I was off with my knee injury from November last year until about March and that was about the time COVID hit,’’ Spriggs said.

“And the stewards said because I am living with Rachel that I could only ride in the city area, which is only probably two per cent of my rides. So that just put me out again.

“Then I got the call to go to Queensland to ride in the Stradbroke, so I was up there for three weeks. When I came back I had to do two weeks of quarantine, so it was another couple of weeks without riding.

“We’re just starting to get the ball rolling again now but it has taken a long time and it has probably been the hardest time in my career. But I have just had my head down and worked hard.

“I rode a winner last Saturday and another one on Saturday at Kembla, which is hopefully reminding people what I can do when I get the right rides. It would be good if I could follow that up with a few winners at Taree.’’

Spriggs has four opportunities at Taree on Monday, including Saturn and Sir Gunsen for trainer Matthew Smith, the promising Kris Lees gelding Zodiacus and Savvy Crown, who is trained by the jockey’s old boss, Jason Deamer.

Spriggs went within a whisker of helping Saturn post a rare and overdue win at Newcastle last start at his first ride on the mare.

“Getting to Taree around the tighter track, I think she should be hard to beat up there,’’ he said.

Ditto for Zodiacus in the Iron Jack Maiden Handicap (1312m).

“He is drawn to get a really nice run,’’ Spriggs said.

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Originally published asScone, Taree: Filly up against it after visitors’ draw

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