Mare can step away: Mowbray

Ultimate Desire will have her first standing start, at Oamaru tomorrow. Photo: ODT files
Ultimate Desire will have her first standing start, at Oamaru tomorrow. Photo: ODT files
Trainer Brad Mowbray is not losing any sleep in the lead-up to Ultimate Desire's first standing-start attempt.

Any horse coming off a lifetime of mobile racing would have most trainers a little concerned but Mowbray is leaning the other way and has confidence that his star mare can get away cleanly for driver Dexter Dunn in tomorrow's feature pace at Oamaru.

''She seems pretty sensible. It would be a surprise - to me and probably Dexter - if she made a meal of it,'' he said

Mowbray said the mare had made the ''best possible effort'' to run third behind Piccadilly Princess in the 4yr-old mares' final over a mile at the Harness Jewels at Ashburton earlier this month.

''We were really pleased with her. She went as good as she can go, I think.''

''She seems to have come through it better than I thought she might.''

Mowbray has struck up a formidable combination with driver Matthew Williamson this season and they combine again with Speedy Mach in race 9 tomorrow.

The horse will return to Oamaru, where he was a close runner-up behind
Hilarious Magic in January, a stronger and more competitive prospect after a spell.

''He was always one of those ones that where he was near enough, but he wasn't quite there. But, now he has filled out and is looking a lot like a proper horse.''

Speedy Mach was fit and ready to run a big race on the back of his spell, he said.

''He has had three trials and we have been pleased with him each time. He should be forward enough.

''It would not surprise me if he won it.''

Mowbray will not lack for talent in the sulky behind his team tomorrow.

Blair Orange partners Sharnae in race 2, while Samantha Ottley has been engaged to drive Gypsey's Choice in race 5.

The trainer has been pleased with Sharnae who will be having her firsts race start in almost 11 months.

''She should be better for it . . . she is probably a pretty handy maiden.''

Gypsey's Choice was checked and galloped in her first run for the Mowbray stable at Addington last month, but has recovered and will be having her second start this campaign.

''We just put a line through that one - she seems happy and bright.''

Orange will reunite with Sundons Flyer in tomorrow's feature trot.

The Bruce Negus-trained trotter will clash again with local hope Playboy's Brother. The pair quinellaed the feature trot at Forbury Park on Thursday night.

-By Jonny Turner

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