Narrandera preview: Tips, best bets and inside mail

Trainers Barbara Joseph and Paul and Matt Jones have got Roman racing in his best form heading into Sunday’s Narrandera Cup (1600m), but it took a change.

Late last year the son of Roman Emperor was not looking like a racehorse.

“I couldn’t get weight on him and his coat was thick and bristly and he wasn’t handling Canberra,” Paul Jones said.

Often, horses do well, for no apparent reason, with a change of scenery.

The Form: Complete NSW Racing thoroughbred form, including video replays and all you need to know about every horse, jockey and trainer. Find a winner here!

It’s often seen when an out-of-form runner is sent to another trainer.

But Jones and his fellow trainers didn’t want to lose Roman so they sent him to their satellite stable hoping it would do the trick.

“He’s turned his form around since we sent him to the Sapphire Coast stable. It took him a month for his coat to come good and his weight to go back on,” Jones said.

“Once he started feeling better and working better he hasn’t looked back.

“We feed them the same stuff at both stables so it’s not like I’ve changed his diet, just his surroundings.

“It’s a more relaxed atmosphere and he doesn’t have to worry about being around 20 other horses. He just works with a buddy.”

Roman put a disappointing run behind him in Sydney two runs ago to win at Moruya over 1650m three weeks ago.

“I was a bit disappointed with the ride in the Highway,” Jones said.

“It was the first time we drew a gate and we got caught three deep then kicked up on a hot speed.

“We licked our wounds and got him back home and we’re very happy with how he went at Moruya.”

Paul Jones says Roman has thrived with a change of scenery. Picture: Jenny EvansSource:News Corp Australia

Roman has won three times on heavy tracks which he should get with Jordan Mallyon to give him a perfect run in transit from barrier seven.

“You’d think he’ll be a good hope on a wet track,” Jones said.

“This cup and the Forbes Cup are the two races we’ve set him for.

“I think we’ll ride him just off the speed because there will be a little bit of speed in this race. One or two will take it up and we can sit in behind them.

“Narrandera is not a must-lead track but you don’t want to be too far off them.”

Pride Of Kalaru would like a drying track in the second race from an inside gate.

“He’s been up for a while but he’s drawn well,” Jones said.

“We’ll probably go around with a view of backing him up a few days later for a Canberra meeting.”

Cut To Pieces begins the day for the stable in the opener. He may have only run eighth first-up but his trainers have put some head gear on to give him more zip.

“The blinkers go on and he’s improving,” Jones said.

“It was a better run than it looked last start considering how the track played and Teaghan Martin gets along well with him.”

Regal Riffle runs in the last for the Canberra-based team and they’re still learning about him after he ran 10th on debut for the stable in a much better race than she races in today.

“She got caught deep in a Federal at Canberra and it was a forgive run,” Jones said.

“Her work during the week was her best work since she’s been with us.”

MATT JONES’ TOP SELECTIONS

BEST BET

Race 4 No: LOGAN RIVER

A nice win first-up in a tougher race than this and his class should carry him to the line before he goes on to bigger races.

NEXT BEST

Race 7 No.8: POWER ME UP

Drops well back in grade off a Saturday metro run and prior to that claimed three-straight wins in this region. Gets perfect run from gate.

VALUE BET

Race 3 No.10: MISS MANZANILLA

On debut on what should be a heavy track but seemed to travel through it in her only trial. Stable isn’t sure what’s under the bonnet yet but she’s worth a chance.

QUADDIE

R5: 2,4,5,6

R6: 2,3,4 5

R7: 4,8

R8: 7,8,10

TRAINER TO WATCH

Mitchell Beer has a stack of good chances going around with Logan River in the fourth and Power Me Up in the cup. His other runners have their claims also.

JOCKEY TO WATCH

Kayla Nisbet has some good winning chances with Little Wand, Zaromatic and Red Kanzi leading the charge.

Kayla Nisbet riding Lord Of The Sky at Caulfield. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

INSIDE MAIL: NARRANDERA

RACE 1

Little Wand wasn’t too bothered by a Heavy 10 last time when running second on the Sapphire Coast and she’s drawn a lot better now to get the idea run. She’s improved with each run this time in. Trade Statement also handled the bog track at Gunnedah and looks to have turned the corner in his second prep but will need a well-judged ride by Blaike McDougall, who partnered him last start. La Valkyrie will let the speed go from an inside draw but can’t get too far back on a wet track. Her past two runs have been career-best.

Bet: Little Wand to win.

RACE 2

Vallauris is starting to improve his record and will be right there at the top of the straight, and will have to be with a big weight on a wet track. He gives away 6kg to many of his rivals but he’s in the form to overcome it. Stablemate Nothing Compares has been racing in better company than this but runs on a heavy track for the first time. Earl Of Kendal is bred to swim and he’s been consistent for a while now, so there’s not much to query as the visors go on.

Bet: Earl Of Kendal to win.

RACE 3

Miss Manzanilla is one of a stack of debutants going around here and she trialled up once on a Heavy 10 and appeared quite comfortable in the ground as she cruised in behind a few. She’s in good hands and has a good draw, with the services of the leading rider, Blaike McDougall. Wild Buckeroo was in the same trial and finished ahead of Miss Manzanilla after being shaken up late. Dantain’s Magic has race experience on her side and resumes after nearly winning on a few occasions last time in, but she’s drawn wide and McDougall is no longer in the saddle.

Bet: Miss Manzanilla to win.

RACE 4

Logan River has a 4kg claiming apprentice on to give him a more winnable weight of 61kg, which should be fine over the 1000m trip. He loves wet ground and class should get him over the line with even luck. Galaxy Force drops back in grade and will likely be ridden patiently. Exaggerate has better form than most of these but virtually none on wet tracks. Underwood will push forward and proved last start that she can handle wet ground.

Bet: Logan River to win.

RACE 5

Boho Chick won in this grade at Wagga two runs ago and wasn’t disgraced last time at Moruya in a Class 2. She handles the wet ground. Back to an easier race now and right in it with McDougall on. Zaromatic has been racing in better events and has the barrier to go close. Opoho Dreaming comes up from Victoria and, while not winning yet this time in, she’s been running in much better races. Il Professional needs luck from the wide gate but she relishes these conditions.

Bet: Boho Chick to win.

RACE 6

Jin Chi Phantom doesn’t win too often but has been very close his past two races. He’s by Tavistock, so the ground won’t bother him. Even though he’s won three from 17, Cyborg has still got to be in the top few finishers here, is fit and on the quick back-up. Delivered hasn’t won in a while either but has been close of late.

Bet: Jin Chi Phantom to win.

RACE 7

Roman has been set for this race and comes into it off a solid win at Moruya last start. Forget his 15th in the Highway two runs back, when he got a less-than-ideal run in transit. He swims, too. Power Me Up put three straight wins together in the bush before finding things a little too tough in town on a Saturday. He’s four weeks between runs but has trialled and is ready to bounce back. See how Zing went at Randwick yesterday because Necessary has form behind it two runs back in a Saturday Rosehill race.

Bet: Quinella 4, 8.

RACE 8

Vinnie’s Girl has the barrier to be in the perfect spot in the run. That could be behind the leading pair or she could even take it up. She’ll be looking the goods at some stage. Last War might lead and ploughed through the Heavy 9 at Wagga last time to win. Jac The Great probably has the last crack at them from off the speed. Red Kanzi wants 1200m now and has been a little luckless of late.

Bet: Red Kanzi to win.

Originally published asNarrandera tips: Roman conquers in new surrounds

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