Benno Yung remains undaunted by the opposition against Not Usual Talent (132lb) in Wednesday’s (6 October) Class 2 Fleming Handicap (1650m), holding faith in his galloper’s ability and form – reserved only by the threat that gate 12 may pose.
“Looking at the field, for him it’s not that strong but the only worry is the barrier.
“It’s hard to tell if he can overcome it, it just depends on luck, the race’s tempo and how he settles in the run, that will help decide where he finishes,” Yung said.
Stepping away as the equal second-highest rater in the field, the Zacinto gelding is looking to become the first horse to win from gate 12 over 1650m at the city circuit this season.
“He’s pretty good – he trialled well, it’s just unlucky that he has drawn awkwardly – we’ll need a bit of luck to overcome it,” Yung said.
The New Zealand-bred is one of four horses in the race rated above 100, while the next best is Savaquin (122lb) on a mark of 92. Reliable Team (133lb) tops the billing on a mark of 103, while Rattan (132lb) and Savvy Nine (132lb) join Not Usual Talent on 102.
Yung’s charge spent the off-season at Conghua and has trialled twice in preparation for his first-up assignment tomorrow evening.
“They (staff at Conghua) are quite happy with him, his form is good but gate 12 makes it hard, especially at Happy Valley over the 1650 (metres),” the handler said.