BRING The Joy has delivered some Christmas joy to her Gunnedah trainer and his local syndicate of owners recently.
On Tuesday she can add to those tidings by defying the expected heat to run well on her home track in the Gunnedah Jockey Club’s $22,000 Summer Cup (1600m).
The four-year-old daughter of Magic Albert, who has won two of her last three starts, steps up a grade or two in the benchmark 58 handicap.
Weather forecasts tip an extremely hot day and Hunter and North West Racing Association stewards have invoked a Level 2 Hot Weather Policy.
“It is forecast to be 40, 41 degrees,” advised HNWRA chief steward Shane Cullen.
“We have invoked the Level 2. Horse parades will be at an absolute bare minimum, there will be iced water at four different bays in the tie-up stalls and we have two hosing down facilities.”
He said trainers travelling long distances with horses need to be mindful of the heat and arrive at least 90 minutes before their race to cool their horses down.
He also said jockeys health and safety would be monitored with water and drinks available behind the barrier stalls.
He said the hot conditions had only struck after Christmas.
“In the nine meetings since Christmas though we’ve only had one horse pull up with mild heat stress,” he said.
“If conditions do become oppressive though we can always take further precautions.”
While Gunnedah trainer Gavin Groth expects an extremely hot day, he does believe the Riverside racecourse will be at its best.
“I worked and walked the track this morning [Monday],” he said.
“It’s a Good 4.
“They’ve put some water on it and it has a bit of give in it but it could be upgraded to a Good 3 later in the day.
“It’s has been hot here though.
“At 3.30pm yesterday [Sunday] it was 42.3 degrees in the shade at my stables (on course).
“I’ve got a weather station and it measured 44 in the tack room and 42.3 out in the shade. At 8pm last night it was still 40.9 degrees.”
That he doesn’t have to travel is a big advantage for his three runners, Jazzee Nicc (R3), Bring The Joy (R6) and Red Liberty (R7).
“It is a big advantage for me,” he said and believes all three offer each way chances.
“Bring The Joy is showing signs she is coming to the end of her tether,” he said.
“She is in a lot stronger race but the 1600m won’t be a bother to her and she is down in weight (54kg).
“The surface will suit her as well.
“She has been good this prep and improving so I thought we’d give her a shot at this rather than travel all the way up to Glen Innes.
“She has shown a few signs she might be training off in this heat but she has improved a lot this prep and will be better in the autumn.
“Hopefully she can run in the first four.”
He believes Brett Cavanough’s topweight, Reward The Chaser might be the one to beat on its Highway Handicap form while St Luke (Michelle Fleming) and George Two (Gayna Williams) will also be tough.