DARREN Hyde says his four-year-old The Flash One deserves a shot at the $100,000 Country Championships Qualifier at Dubbo on Sunday, despite the race initially being off the radar.
The Bianconi gelding started his campaign, and career, with a fourth at Cowra on December 21 and Hyde said at that time the Country Championships wasn’t really an option.
“He came with a question mark when considering the Country Championships but he won his maiden and not many horses out here could have done what he’s done in his first preparation,” Hyde said.
The Flash One has been thriving and has won two of his past four starts and run fourth over 1425 metres, but his best form has been over 1200m.
“He’s going very well even though he just got there at Wellington last start,” Hyde said.
“He’s just a bit suspect at 1400-metres, but he’s by Bianconi and they normally get to a mile (1600m) or even 2000 metres eventually.
“The owners are keen to give him a crack at it and why wouldn’t you? Not many $100,000 races come along out here too often.”
While he’s generally been ridden up on the speed during the early part of his career, Hyde said it wasn’t an option if the horse is to be a chance to finish in the first two and qualify for the $400,000 Final on Day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick.
“We’ll smother him and ride him as cold as possible,” Hyde said. “He’s only got about a 200-metre sprint then he tends to flatten out a bit.
“I thought putting the blinkers on him last start helped him concentrate more and when they win with them on it’s hard to take them off.”
The final fields for Dubbo Country Championship Qualifier meeting were released on Thursday morning, with The Flash One drawing barrier 15 in the $100,000 event.
Brad Clark will take the ride onboard the Hyde-trained four-year-old while Greg Ryan will ride from barrier nine with Any Blinkin’ Day, also trained locally by Clint Lundholm.
Baites, the top weight for the event, drew barrier eight and will be ridden by Rasit Yetimova, who rode the gelding to victory at Dubbo in January.
Another Dubbo hopeful is Something Borrowed, trained by Justin Stanley, who has run second in his past four starts.
Another result like that on Sunday will see the seven-year-old off to the $400,000 final at Randwick on April 2.
The Country Championship Qualifier (1400m) is the seventh of eight races on Sunday and will jump at 4.50pm.