Alexandra Park Review

By Michael Guerin

For Ray Green the feature-race quinella at Alexandra Park on Friday came with a sense of relief as much as happiness.

Green trained Chachingchaching to down stablemate Strike The Gold in the 1700m intermediate grade main race, the winner superbly driven by David Butcher.

He swept down the outside to win going away in his first start since finishing 10th in the Northern Derby on March 6.

Like many members of Green’s Lincoln Farms stable, Chachingchaching has suffered the effects of a virus since and is still on the way back up.

“The virus set us and a lot of other trainers back,” said Green.

“So just to have them over it and racing again it great. Winning was a bonus tonight because they will improve, they needed the run.”
 Chacahingchaching went into Friday sitting well outside Jewels contention because much of his racing had been against the best three-year-olds.  

“He has been going really good races but breaking 2:40 for 2200m and not getting much money,” he explains.

“So this will help a bit toward the Jewels but a win at the premier meetings in the next two weeks would really help.”
 Strike The Gold sits safely inside the top 12 for the Jewels for now, even though Green admits Chachingchaching is the better horse and therefore the better Jewels chance.

“Sure this late in the season the Jewels are an aim but it is not like we are going to chase stakes to get in by tripping him all over the country.

“We would like to have them both there but that is more by them racing in good form and winning the money.

“Then they are both eligible for the Breeders Crown. They would probably need to improve for that but we will see how they are going at the time.”
 Green has 20 horses in work with up to 14 yearling yet to start but the good news is stable star Besotted is also back.

He suffered a strained suspensory ligament last spring but the Taylor Mile winner is looking good and will be aimed toward late winter racing and then the Cups next season.

While Green stole the show with his quinella, two other big winners on Friday were Idle Bones and debutante Art Form.

Idle Bones finally got things right for trainer-driver Brent Mangos and looked more her old self when she dealt to her intermediate grade rivals, turning the race into a non-contest with a 27.9 second 400m surge down the back straight.

And Art Form landed some huge bets when he came from near last to win his maiden, suggesting he is a juvenile with a huge future for Steven Reid and Simon McMullen.

He is likely to head to Addington for the Sires’ Stakes heat on April 23 next, where victory would not only get him into that final but also the Jewels.