Racing: Jerry Garcia appeals

Jerry Garcia has kept punters happy with impeccable form as a 3yr-old. Photo by Matt Smith.
Jerry Garcia has kept punters happy with impeccable form as a 3yr-old. Photo by Matt Smith.
Jerry Garcia the singer may be long gone, but the pacer of the same name is looking to add to his own reputation at Waikouaiti tomorrow.

The 3yr-old Jereme's Jet gelding has four wins from his 10 career starts, with three coming in his last five trips to the races.

He has developed an affinity for the grass tracks, with three victories from his four goes on the softer surface.

The gelding is named after the lead singer of the Grateful Dead, who died of a heart attack in 1995.

Trainer-driver Leo O'Reilly said the half-brother to The Falcon Legend had enjoyed 10 days off after his win at Oamaru on January 8 before getting back into work.

''He had a workout at Methven last Sunday where he ran third to Eric Clapton and Motu Cup Day Cullen who won on Wednesday,'' O'Reilly said.

The sixth foal to race out of the Golden Greek mare Smooth Leyenda is not short of ability, but the Rakaia-based horseman said he does have to keep on top of the gelding.

''He does take a wee bit of consistent work, so he's had a couple of fast runs since the workout.''

Jerry Garcia's 2yr-old season saw him pick up a win at Motukarara in April, and the time out between May and November had helped him mature.

Jerry Garcia starts from the inside mark in a $12,000 2-6 win stand, which does worry O'Reilly slightly, even with his horse's excellent standing-start manners.

''He's pretty safe, but I wouldn't like to get buried on the fence''I've just been trying to find a suitable race for him. There was nothing at Ashburton [today] for him so we thought we'd go down there for the good stakes.''

Jerry Garcia's biggest danger, other than the awkward draw, could come from 10m behind in the form of The Friendlyassassin.

Trainer Grant McStay seems to have figured out the 6yr-old Live Or Die gelding, who won at Oamaru on January 20. That form has since been franked with Monifieth, who ran third behind The Friendlyassassin at Oamaru, getting the better of the previously unbeaten Mossdale Conner at Addington last week.

River Black is due a win when he lines up in the $25,000 Waikouaiti Cup, but his 20m handicap may blunt his speed from behind the tapes. Cam Before The Storm has got into the race despite being outside the race conditions, and will be a major danger off the front line. He is backing up after finishing fourth behind Democracy at Rangiora on Wednesday.

Jimmy Johnstone has a similar problem to River Black, starting from the inside of the 10m mark. Trainer-driver John Hay will be trying to extract him from any trouble early and put him up on the pace. The blinds have come off Glencoe V C who shares the back mark of 30m with Bettor's Fire.

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