News

Hector's hold-up

By Adam Hamilton

Star pacer Hectorjayjay’s racetrack return has been delayed for a month.

But the Perth Inter Dominion runner-up is still on target for a showdown with stablemate Lennytheshark and the firing Tiger Tara in the $106,000 Group 1 Len Smith Mile at Menangle on June 25.

“It’s been a bit of an on-again, off-again preparation. He would’ve been set to go now, but we decided to get a scintigraphy test done on that area where he had the bone chip,” trainer David Aiken said.

“The owners were keen to get the all-clear. It put us back a few weeks, but there was nothing big to rush him back for anyway.

“The way it’s worked out he will be back racing at of next month and still have time for a couple of lead-up races into the Len Smith. Then he might go to the Queensland Winter Carnival as well.”

In contrast, Lennytheshark is raring to go after a fast-finishing second in a Menangle trial behind Victoria and Hunter Cup contestant Allblack Stride last Tuesday.

“He came from a mile back and really flew the last 50m or so. They clocked him breaking 54sec for his last half. He felt great,” Aiken said.

Lennytheshark will lock horns Tiger Tara in Saturday week’s Group 2 Bulli Cup at Menangle.

“Tiger Tara is flying, but I like the fact it means we will be in a genuine race. It’s what we need in the build-up to the Len Smith,” Aiken said.

Tiger Tara is shooting for his fifth successive win in tomorrow (Friday) night’s Group 3 Sydney Cup (2140m) at Menangle.

Aiken’s sights are also on Menangle this Saturday night where he has runners in both semi-finals of the rich Australian Gold series for two-year-old colts and geldings.

His best youngster is Higherthananeagle, a brother to Fly Like An Eagle, who has the pole in the second semi.

“He’s in by far the stronger of the semis. Mark’s (Purdon) horse Sicario looked quite arrogant winning his heat and is obviously the one to beat,” Aiken said.

“I was really happy with our guy even though Lumineer ran him down in the heat at Melton, but they smashed the clock.”

Aiken also has outsider Jimmy Locke in the first semi where Lumineer will dominate betting from the pole.

In other stable news, Aiken said Rockstar Angel would need to win Saturday night’s $40,000 Group 3 Platinum Mares’ final at Melton to push ahead with Harness Jewels plans.

“She’s been going really well without winning. We’re keen on the Jewels, but she’s got to convince us she’s worth taking across and she gets that chance this weekend,” he said.