Alton deserves change of luck

Cambridge trainer Gary Alton will be looking for a change of luck over the next few weeks after a wasted trip to Trentham yesterday.

Alton went south with Brompton in a bid to record successive wins in the Parliamentary Handicap. Brompton raced away to a 14-length win in the Trentham winter feature last year and there was confidence in the camp that he could succeed again.

But that dream of another Parliamentary Handicap win was dashed even before the field all entered the barrier for the $40,000 event. After an examination by the on-course veterinarian, Brompton was late scratched at the barrier because of an eye injury.

“I was leading him back to the stalls when the field went past the winning post the first time and he couldn’t work out why he wasn’t out there,” said Alton. “He’d been set for this one race for six months and I reckon he was pretty close to the same condition he was when he won it last year. It was his track again yesterday and the way the race was run it would have suited him perfectly.”

Brompton now has to gain a veterinary certificate of fitness before he races next and Alton says he is “caught between a rock and a hard place” over immediate plans for the horse.

“He’s got a white spot on the eye, but he’s had that for yonks,” said Alton. “I’ll be getting the vet out tomorrow and we’ll just have to see what happens. The only big race left for him is the Taumarunui Cup, but I never really wanted to go there with him. He doesn’t like Te Rapa. That’s all that’s really left now.”

If Brompton does secure a clearance within the next few days there is a the possibility he could run in a benchmark 85 2000 metres at New Plymouth next weekend. “It would be a run to keep him up to the mark for the Taumarunui Cup, but the big worry is if he doesn’t get a clearance,” said Alton. “It could take a while and by then we would have missed everything.”

If Brompton does get to trek to Taranaki next weekend he will be joining his stablemate Worthing, who will contest the $65,000 Listed Waikato Stud Opunake Cup (1400m), in which he will be ridden by Jason Collett.

Worthing has been placed in his last three starts and will be on trial for a trip to Riccarton for the Group III EstarOnline Winter Cup at Riccarton next month.

“He’s only been ridden twice since he ran second at Ellerslie, but he’ll be ready for it,” said Alton. “He’s been to New Plymouth once before and he won by almost five lengths on a good track for Andrew Calder, but the track will be a lot different this time.”

Alton has another stakes race in mind for the latest winner for his stable, Macka’s Back. The Australian-bred Danzero colt won well at Te Rapa last start and will head to Otaki for the Listed $50,000 Brancott Estate Ryder Stakes (1200m) on July 28, the same day as the Taumarunui Cup at Te Rapa.

Macka’s Back impressed rider Jason Collett with his Te Rapa win, says Alton. “Jason got off and said he has heaps of ability, but is really raw and has a lot to learn,” said Alton.

She’s Invincible and Green Easy, two other members of Alton’s team, have just returned to the stable after a break and should be in for a good time in the new season.