With former Toowoomba trained galloper Incentivise already gathering something of a cult following on the national racing scene after extending his winning sequence to eight straight wins, including two stunning Group 1 successes (in the Makybe Diva and the Turnbull Stakes) since relocating to Victoria, another former Toowoomba based runner could well be set to join Incentivise in the Group 1 winner’s club when she contests the Group 1 Thousand Guineas at Caulfield.
The three-year-old filly Hinged left the Michael Nolan training stables at Toowoomba to join the Chris Waller yard after being sold just a couple of months after Incentivise’s much publicised move from his previous owner/trainer Steve Tregea to Peter Moody.
When Hinged changed stables she did so at the end of her two-year-old career taking a race record of five wins and two narrow runner-up finishes from seven starts into her new surroundings as she prepared to kick off her three-year-old season.
She had won from 1200m to 1615m on good to heavy going with her last three wins coming in QTIS Two-Year-Old Handicaps and it was always going to be interesting to see how Waller handled a horse with seemingly great potential, although one that was yet to really be tested class-wise.
Waller handed Hinged the task of tackling Listed company in the Dulcify over 1500m in the first start for the stable. On face value, the result she achieved there looked disappointing, an eleventh placed finish behind Giannia, 5.40 length back. But an in-depth review of her run showed that Hinged was caught wide early, was even wider on the turn and then was hampered in the straight.
Certainly, Waller, who is not prone to making rash decisions, had seen enough to be happy to step Hinged straight up to Group 1 company for her ninth career start, in the Darley Flight Stakes over 1600m, and that decision was absolutely vindicated when Hinged, after taking a while to go through her gears in the early part of the straight, stormed home down the inside rail, producing a finish that carried her into an eye-catching second place, just 0.30 lengths behind Never Been Kissed.
Hinged started ay $20 on that occasion, but the quality which underlined her Flight Stakes effort, the fact that Never Been Kissed went on to run so well in the Spring Champion Stakes last Saturday, when finishing second behind Profondo, and, of course, the fact that she has the Waller touch overseeing her preparation means that she now sits top of the betting boards at $4.20 for the 2021 Thousand Guineas.
Glen Boss, who rode Hinged in both the Dulcify and the Flight Stakes stays aboard Hinged.
The Anthony and Sam Freedman trained Zouzarella ($4.60) and the Jerome Hunter trained Barb Raider ($5.50) are the only other two runners quoted under $10.