James praying for better weather


Bad  weather is again proving the enemy  for Cambridge trainer Roger James (pictured) as he sweats on a first-up run  for He’s Remarkable in the Group I $200,000 Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hastings on Saturday week.

James used yesterday’s Taupo racemeeting to further He’s Remarkable’s preparation  for the weight-for-age 1400 metres and he wasn’t perturbed when the son of Pentire didn’t appear to be working as well as his companion, fellow Cambridge galloper Carrick.

James timed He’s Remarkable, who was ridden by Vinnie Colgan, to run 1200 metres in 1:16.8, the final 1000 in 1:2.6 and the last 600 in 36.9 on a track which was described as a heavy 10. He’s Remarkable worked on the inside of Carrick and finished behind him in the gallop.

“I knew he wouldn’t handle the track, but he needed to have a good hitout,” said  James. “He’s ready and the first time he strikes a good track he will explode. I know enough about him not to worry about his condition. It’s the likelihood of a wet track at Hastings that is the worry.

“The track down there is still wet and it needs to dry out a lot  for him. The trouble is we’re running out of time. I really want him to run in the Makfi and if the track is too wet I don’t know where I’ll go with him.”

He’s Remarkable holds nominations  for the three legs of the Hawke’s Bay Triple Crown and  James plans to run him in the first two legs, the second feature being the Group I Windsor Park Stud Stakes (wfa 1600m) on September 22.

“The plan is to go over to Sydney  for the Epsom Handicap after the Windsor Park Stakes,” said  James.

Colgan agreed with  James over He’s Remarkable’s gallop yesterday. “He was never happy in the ground,” said Colgan. “But he feels good and he just needs good ground.”

He’s Remarkable hasn’t raced since April 21 when striking a dead track in the Group I Doncaster Handicap at Randwick and finished unplaced. Two starts earlier he had won a Group Three event at Newcastle in New South Wales and that was minor compensation for being relegated from first in the Group I Railway Stakes in Perth.