New chapter begins for The Harrovian
Expectation invites pressure.
No one understands that more than co-trainer Toby Edmonds, who is looking forward to the challenge of preparing cult hero The Harrovian as he aims for 10 consecutive wins in Saturday’s Recognition Stakes at Doomben.
Stephen Massingham, the previous trainer of The Harrovian, handed the gelding over to Toby and Trent Edmonds after his victory at Doomben on October 31.
The Cairns-based Massingham had the horse stabled with the Edmonds team for the duration of his Brisbane campaign before formalising the transfer earlier this month.
“It was good of him to give us a chance to take him over as he heads towards the Bernborough next month,” Toby Edmonds said.
“He’s a nice horse to have join the team, although a lot of pressure.
“He’s been unbeaten for quite a while so it’ll be a good test for us.”
Under Massingham’s care, The Harrovian won 12 of his 14 starts including the Townsville and Cairns Cups double last year.
Such was his dominance in North Queensland, The Harrovian was forced to shoulder mammoth weights including carrying 67kg to win over 1400 metres at Cairns in April.
The Harrovian is dropping back in distance from 1640 metres to the 1350 metres of the Recognition but has won several times in the past following a freshen-up.
Edmonds has enjoyed immense success with former North Queensland-trained horses owned by Tom Hedley, including Tyzone and Grey Missile.
They combined to win this year’s Group One Stradbroke with Tyzone, who began his career in Townsville, while Grey Missile was a Sunshine Coast winner in January.
Leading jockey Brad Stewart will be aiming to keep his unbeaten record aboard The Harrovian intact after riding the gelding to victory at his past two starts at Eagle Farm and Doomben.
TAB fixed odds has installed The Harrovian a $4.40 favourite for the Recognition ahead of the Desleigh Forster-trained Red Chase at $5.50.
Following Saturday’s assignment, Edmonds plans to keep The Harrovian fresh for his primary summer carnival goal, the $200,000 Listed Bernborough Plate (1600m) at Eagle Farm on Boxing Day.