Trainers mulling over black type pursuits

DECISION TO MAKE: Trainer Kerry Parker with Heartlings at his Kembla Grange stable last year. Picture: Andy Zakeli
DECISION TO MAKE: Trainer Kerry Parker with Heartlings at his Kembla Grange stable last year. Picture: Andy Zakeli

Kerry Parker is happy with how Heartlings has come through a difficult run over the weekend, but the Kembla trainer could still abandon plans to back the mare up in Friday’s Tibbie Stakes (1400m) at Newcastle.

Parker will make a decision on Wednesday on whether he will run his daughter of Pendragon in the Group 3 event.

“I am still contemplating,” he told The Punt.

“I will wait to see how she goes over [Tuesday] night before I make a decision.”

Heartlings ran fifth behind Positive Problems, which was aided by a bold front-running ride by Blake Shinn.

Shinn pinched five lengths on his rivals before the field entered the straight in the Schweppes Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill and then held on in the final strides to beat Gerald Ryan trained Marquita. 

Heartlings was a further three lengths back in third.

Parker felt his mare wasn’t suited by the tempo of the race, but said she’s since pulled up well. 

“She has come through the run really good,” he said.

“It was one of those runs where you almost want to forget she went around.

“Blake Shinn put a couple of lengths of them up front and made it so the race just wasn’t to suit.

“She was off the bit a long way from home.”

Parker has also nominated Virgilio for Saturday’s Provincial Cup Benchmark 70 Handicap (1400m). 

Meanwhile, fellow Kembla trainer Paul Murray is also up in the air on whether he will target one of the features on Newcastle’s premier raceday.

Murray had nominated Darci’s Affair and O’Reilly’s Revenge for the Group 3 Cameron Handicap and is also planning to make a final decision on Wednesday morning on where he will run the pair. 

"I think Darci's Affair will probably end up heading to [a Benchmark 90 over the 1600m] at Randwick on Saturday but I'll make the decision on him and O'Reilly's Revenge in the morning on Wednesday," Murray said.

"The Cameron looks like a pretty tough race on paper this year.

"It had been falling away a bit in recent years but it doesn't look like that will be the case."

Leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees’ boom mare Invincible Gem has been nominated for both the Cameron and the Tibbie.

The four-year-old will more than likely start as favourite in whichever races Lees chooses to run her in. 

The trainer indicated to Sky Racing on Tuesday afternoon that he was leaning towards starting Invincible Gem in the Tibbie, but he wouldn’t make a decision until Wednesday when acceptances for Friday’s and Saturday’s meetings will be declared. 

Paul Murray

Paul Murray