Andrew MacDonald is chasing back to back wins at Wyong on Tuesday with Happy Mo and Our Lady Violet.
McDonald, based at Medowie on the outskirts of Newcastle, considers advice received from Australia’s leading trainer Darren Weir has helped with his recent success.
Weir set up a temporary base at Williamtown during the Autumn carnival and worked his horses at nearby Birubi Beach, where MacDonald also prepares his small team.
“When Darren Weir was up here I spoke to his foreman a lot about how they work them,” MacDonald said.
“He trains plenty of his horses on the beach so I was interested to know what they did.
“Now I try and use a bit of what they do and it seems to be working.
“They still go to their track for their gallops but slow work they go down to the beach, which a lot easier rather than getting all worked up and on the steel.
“They get a nice walk in the water after it as well.”
The proof has been in the pudding for MacDonald with Happy Mo and Lady Violent enjoying successful preparations, and both possible of notching up wins come Tuesday.
They are both last start winners, with Happy Mo saluting at Wyong on July 14 and Our Lady Violet a convincing winner at Newcastle on July 10.
MacDonald had planned to spell Happy Mo following her win but had a change of heart when the three-year-old filly pulled up better than ever. “I decided to give her another start,” he said.
“It looks like an ideal race and it’s come around at the right time. “She’s pulled up a treat, holding her weight and eating and looks fantastic.”
Jeff Penza retains the ride on Uncle Mo in the 1000m Class 2.
MacDonald said it had been a long preparation for the filly, who had some tough runs early on.
“I thought the last win would have taxed her but she’s come through this race probably better than any of the others. I’m really happy with her. “She had to dig deep the other day and cost herself because she was on the wrong leg coming around the corner.
“She’s still pretty green so I’m going to put the lugging bit on her just to make sure she hugs the rail.
“I think she’s got plenty of upside and she’s still learning. Fingers crossed she could go on to win some nice races.”
MacDonald broke in Happy Mo and after a short stint with another trainer she was returned to him and has gone on to record two wins and three placings from six starts. “I was happy to take her on because I knew she was a lovely filly and I wanted to give her a go. It’s it worked out well to date.”
His other runner Lady Violent starts in the 1350m Class 1, also with Penza in the saddle. “She’s pulled up a treat as well.
“It’s a bit of an acid test to see if she’s up to the grade, if she’s a provincial or a country horse but she just keeps improving.
“Jeff eased her on the line at Newcastle and felt there was a bit more left in her. It’s just a matter of whether she can back it up and rub shoulders with a better quality of horse down there.”
MacDonald said the mare had six starts with another trainer before coming to his stable.
“I spelled her after her second trial in February because she had a problem with her leg and it was touch and go if she was worth carrying on with. “Since she’s come back she hasn’t missed a beat and every race she’s improved.“
The five-year-old will be shooting for her second win, having recorded a victory and two seconds since joining the MacDonald stable.
RACE 1 – 12.20pm: BRILLIANT LTG – PRYSMIAN MAIDEN PLATE (1350m): 1 SUN AND HEIR, 2 Erudition, 3 Whitsunday, 4 Seeingisbelieving.
RACE 2 – 1pm: CLIPSAL BY SCHNEIDER BENCHMARK 69 HANDICAP (1100m): 1 KATGULLY RED, 2 Miss Faith, 3 Penalty, 4 Mr Bonjove.
RACE 3 – 1.35pm: MATCHMASTER – I.P.D. – HANECO 2YO C&G MAIDEN PLATE (1100m): 1 RECTITUDE, 2 Greenskeeper, 3 Oxford Tycoon, 4 Britzel.
RACE 4 – 2.10pm: OMNI – REPELEC CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1350m): 1 OUR LADY VIOLENT, 2 Clifton County, 3 Oakfield Missile, 4 Orokonui.
RACE 5 – 2.50pm: L&C/PAK – OMEGA – LEVEY AGENCIES 2YO FILLIES MAIDEN PLATE (1100m): 1 BANDOL, 2 Ballistica, 3 Smart Promise, 4 Don’t Doubt Arthur.
RACE 6 – 3.25pm: 1 MORE CHILLI, 2 Manhattan Gambler, 3 Magnifica, 4 Stunned.
RACE 7 – 4.05pm: 1 HAPPY MO, 2 Mightly Marmalade, 3 Big Legged Woman, 4 Missed Out.
RACE 8 – 4.40pm: ELECTRA – SHARKRACK BENCHMARK 67 HANDICAP (1600m): 1 MOONDANCER, 2 Excited Prince, 3 Flagpoles, 4 Jarrett.