HURDY Gurdy Man will have to set a modern-day weight-carrying record if he is to salute in the listed $150,000 Bagot Handicap, 2800m, at Flemington today.
The six-year-old has the top weight of 60kg in the New Year’s Day staying test.
Mac Rob was the last Bagot winner to carry this much weight, in 1944. He had the imperial equivalent of nine stone, six pounds on his back.
Peter won with 9.1 in 1945 and Prince of Fairies with the same weight in 1952.
Astrolin has had the biggest weight since metric weights were introduced in 1973. He had 58.5kg in 1983.
Ballarat trainer Darren Weir sends Hurdy Gurdy Man into the Bagot to continue what has been a highly successful campaign after his career appeared to be on the line.
He began the year by taking out the Hobart Cup, but then had to be sidelined after bleeding in the Launceston Cup.
Weir admitted that Hurdy Gurdy Man looked in trouble after he failed to be home a runner in his first two starts back.
He turned that around by winning Murtoa Cup and has not looked back – winning the Hamilton Cup and being placed in the Ballarat Werribee Cups.
BY THE WAY lines up for Ballarat trainer Mark Lewis in the group 3 Standish Handicap, 1200m, at Flemington.
At his best when freshened up, By The Way steps out for the first time since was hard-finishing third to Longport over 1400m at Flemington on November 9.
FORMER South Australian mare You’re Discreet debuts for Ballarat trainer Dan O’Sullivan in the Riverside Handicap, 1400m, at Flemington today.
You’re Discreet was previously prepared by South Australia’s leading trainer, Philip Stokes, after starting her career with Richard Jolly.
She joins the O’Sullivan stable with two wins in 11 starts.
O’Sullivan also has reigning country horse of the year Gottino engaged in the Byron Moore Handicap, 2000m, at Flemington.
Gottino won the Burrumbeet Cup a year ago today for veteran trainer Ken Moore during a purple patch of form in country cups.
Gottino is coming off his best run this preparation, when second to the Robert Smerdon-trained Electric Fusion over 200m at Flemington.
He again runs against Electric Fusion this afternoon.
O’Sullivan ended a lean run when Hold True ($4) saluted in a benchmark64, 2000m, at Ararat on Monday.
Hold True launched her racing career in the care of William Caporn in Ballarat.
This gives the five-year-old four wins – three for O’Sullivan.
BALLARAT and District Trotting Club Standardbred Group members have their eyes set on another hometown win with smart mare Bit Of A Babe in Ballarat tomorrow night.
Bit Of A Babe has drawn the pole in the Christies Furniture Pace, 2200m, in a bid for a second success at Bray Raceway.
The four-year-old led all the way for Bannockburn trainer Geoff Webster two starts ago to get the money 1:56.9 in Ballarat on December 13.
Webster has focused on short races lately with Bit Of A Babe, with her latest six outings not being beyond 1720m.
However, leading into that sequence she did win at Melton over 2240m.
Bit Of Babe is proving to be the most successful pacer raced by the BDTC syndicate.
Having contested two group 1 finals as a two-year-old, the daughter of Bettors Delight have won seven races and been placed 15 times for almost $60,000 in stakes.
The BDTC has programmed an eight-race card for tomorrow night, with the first event at 6.28pm.
EXCUSE To Live ran a track record in taking out a 4yo/older pace, 1780m, at Stawell on Monday.
Trained by Colin Holloway in Sebastopol and driven by his son Brett, Excuse To Live ($11.40) led and rated 1:57.1 to hold out short-priced favourite Keayang Starzzz.