Trainers turn up the heat

ORANGE trainers could have a bigger advantage than usual when their starters jump in today’s Racing Orange meeting at Towac Park.

Temperatures in excess of 33 degrees have been predicted for Orange today.

That’s where Orange trainer Don Oakley says the locals will have the upper hand.

“The advantage we’ve got is we just walk them out and across. We don’t have to travel,” Oakley said.

The Orange trainer has two entries in today’s seven-race program.

Sagari will start in the Viatek Class 2 Handicap (1600m), while Rock Station is in the GR Spur Concrete Class 3 Handicap (1000m).

“They’re two rough chances,” Oakley said.

Sagari has earned top three results in three of its last four starts, including a second over 1400m and a third over 1600m, both at Towac Park.

In its last start, the four-year-old was sixth over 1800m at Bathurst on December 2.

“She didn’t get to see the track at Bathurst. She was stuck on the fence,” he said of the mare.

“She’s our best chance (today).”

Oakley said Rock Station will have a much tougher challenge today.

The five-year-old will jump from barrier six in a competitive field, which also features Orange entries Judo and Moville Master (Alison Smith) as well as Mariner’s Myth (Sylvia Szabo).

“Rock Station has a pretty tough race. There’s some good horses in there,” Oakley said.

“He’s bred to go a distance but he seems to want to sprint.”

Brian Buckley and Lee Van Den Bos are the other two Orange trainers who will have starters today.

At this year’s Melbourne Cup Day meet at Towac Park, Orange trainers featured.

Szabo took out the first two races with Ossi Redwood and All Emotion before Smith made it an Orange hat-trick, winning the third with Moville Master.

“The local horses have been mixing it a bit with the Sydney horses lately,” Oakley said.

The first race at today’s meeting, dubbed Towac’s biggest Christmas party, jumps at 2.18pm.

The last of the seven races at Towac Park starts at 6.12pm.

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