ORANGE trainer Jeff Brasch is hopeful three-year-old filly Vortuka can continue to build on some impressive early career form with a second successive win at Wednesday's Racing Orange TAB meeting.
Moving from Gulgong to Orange in February, Brasch’s time at Towac Park got off to the best possible start when Vortuka claimed victory over 1000 metres in just her second start on Valentine’s Day. It was also Brasch’s first runner since moving to Towac Park.
Stepping up two classes to run in the $15,000 Barnes Prestige Mowing Service Class Two Handicap (1000m) today, Brasch hopes Vortuka’s current rich vein of form will ensure she handles the jump up in class.
“It was a nice win last start,” Brasch said.
“It was only her second start in a race, she steps up two classes into a class two, it’s a lot stronger field and Bjorn Baker has got one in and there’s a few other nice horses in there. It’s going to be a lot tougher race for her.
“In saying that, she’s trained on really well since her win the other day and has got the experience of the track and the distance so hopefully that’ll go her way.”
The region’s leading jockey Greg Ryan will stick with the promising youngster and will need to weave all of his magic after Vortuka drew poorly in barrier 10.
The only unknown for Brasch’s filly will be whether she can cope with the heavy track rating.
“She’s never raced on it before, that’s going to be a big query,” he said.
“It’s going to probably be a big query for a lot of horses, but you can only send them around on it and see how they go.
“(Ryan) has got plenty of experience on the track and has ridden the filly in both her starts. Hopefully we’ll go alright again.”
Originally scheduled for last Sunday before rain lashed the region, today’s meeting has picked up an additional race to bump the program out to eight races.
Brasch rated Vortuka his best winning chance for the day but remains hopeful of strong performances from Fortior Ito in the John Davis Motors Maiden Plate (1000m) and Master Shep in the Orange Cup Day 11 April Maiden Plate (1280m).
“He’s been a difficult horse,” Brasch said of Master Shep.
“He works very well but has had plenty of starts and is still a maiden. He’s a query.
“[Fortior Ito] only had the one start and ran second at Wellington.
“He’s trained on nice. It’s a lot harder race but in saying that deserves his place in the field.”
Today’s meeting begins at 1.05pm with the Crowe Horwarth Benchmark 73 Handicap (1600m).