New tactics to get best out of Haky
TRAINER Archie Alexander hopes a change of tactics and gear change will revive the fortunes of import Haky at Sandown on Saturday.
Alexander has taken over from dual Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe-winning trainer John Hammond with the quirky chestnut and is uncertain what to expect in the Listed $150,000 Sandown Cup (3200m).
"I've only had him for a short time so we're going into the unknown a little bit," Alexander said.
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"But he's shown no sign of being tired or sore. He's eaten up and so he'll head to Sandown on Saturday."
With several horses holding nominations for the Cup and the Group 2 Zipping Classic, Alexander hopes Haky might face a smallish field.
Whatever the case, the gelding will be given the chance to redeem his best form by being ridden more quietly.
In three Australian starts, the six-year-old has led with a best result of third behind Prince Of Arran and True Self in the Geelong Cup.
He was a last-start eighth in the Hotham Handicap after racing on the speed.
"He'll definitely be ridden quieter," Alexander said.
"Jordan Childs will ride him and, ideally, in the first half of the race, he'll get some cover.
"In the second half, he'll can start building into it.
"I'm not saying it's the right way or the only way to ride him but he's been put in front every time and it hasn't always worked out."
Alexander said Haky would have a noseband applied to help the horse settle better.
"If the worst comes to the worst on Saturday, he'll go for a spell and we'll bring him back and start over again," he said.
"At this stage, he's showing no signs of being tired."
Charlie Appleby will look to claim belated spoils from the spring carnival with D'bai and Setting Sail.
D'bai is nominated for the Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m), where he could clash with Ringerdingding, last year's Sandown Guineas winner now prepared by Anthony Freedman.
Appleby has also entered Setting Sail in the Eclipse Stakes (1800m).
Setting Sail hasn't raced since winning over 2027m at Epsom in August.
GOLDEN RUN CONTINUES FOR CUP CHAMP
Melbourne Cup-winning-jockey Craig Williams has continued his run of Group One success with victory aboard the Lee Freedman-trained Mr Clint in the Singapore Gold Cup.
The victory on Sunday was a second for Williams, who claimed the race in 2016 on the Stephen Gray-trained Bahana.
"Lee approached me for the ride in the Gold Cup," said Williams, who rode Vow and Declare to Melbourne Cup glory last week.
"Lee was very confident he would run well even if his last run was so-so. I have to say that I also took a lot of confidence from my first win on Bahana in the Gold Cup.
"Stephen Gray has become a very good friend of mine since - he and his owners are great people. I now have two wins from three rides in the Gold Cup. It's quite something to come back and win the Gold Cup again, the same week I won the Melbourne Cup (Vow and Declare)."
It was a first Gold Cup win for Freedman, who said a masterful ride from a world-class jockey such as Williams made all the difference.
"It's been a good week - I was at the Melbourne Cup and saw Craig win and he's now won the Gold Cup for me here," he told the Singapore Turf Club.
"It's most incredible. Craig is an amazingly good jockey. He rode the perfect race.
"The way he is going, he could win the Arc de Triomphe!
"We go back a long way and I actually gave him his first Group One win in the Australasian Oaks with Grand Echezeaux. I always knew Mr Clint was a good horse.
"He had a good prep all the way through …"