He might train at Warwick Farm these days but Bruce Cross has fond memories of Canterbury and will hope his promising filly Flying Step continues her affinity with the inner-west track in the China Horse Club Handicap (1250m) on Thursday.
Cross was 21 when he started his training career at Canterbury four decades ago. Flying Step is still in her first racing preparation and while she was beaten at Bathurst back in May she has stepped up in town at her past two starts enough to say she’s a horse on the rise.
At her only attempt at Canterbury the three-year-old overcame a wide run on a heavy track to score a gutsy win, by just under half a length, in maiden company over the same 1250m as today’s assignment.
It was a fitting win, too, as jockey Jason Collett had won a race at Canterbury on Flying Step’s dam Salote eight years earlier. But she proved the win was no fluke with another tough performance on the Kensington track a week ago, again sitting wide under 60.5kg and boxing on for third behind Amathuba after looking a spent force on the home turn.
She takes on the boys this time around but has a slightly more favourable barrier and with the claim for leading apprentice Tyler Schiller will only carry 56.5kg.
The heavy conditions will likely go a long way to negating a tricky barrier for the Clarry Conners-trained Segrill as she searches for a third straight heavy-track win.
While the five-year-old has only won two of her past four starts they’ve come on a heavy 10 at Wyong and a heavy 8 at Warwick Farm.
Conners has booked Nash Rawiller for the ride in a race that appears likely to fall away a little with scratchings. Segrill illustrated how well she’s racing when beaten under two lengths by Roseirro on a good 4 at Kensington three weeks ago and she’s right in her comfort zone again.