A rare metropolitan victory by a country-trained horse has underlined one of the challenges of the benchmark handicapping system.
The Pat Farrell-trained Fort Sumter had to lump 60kg to post just his second city win in the final race at Warwick Farm on Thursday.
Jockey Nash Rawiller said the task highlighted the difficulty faced by country trainers seeking opportunities for their horses in town.
“The poor country trainers don’t get much incentive to come to town and this poor bloke (Fort Sumter) was carrying 60 kilos,” Rawiller said.
Fort Sumter held off a late charge from the Chris Waller-trained Foxbat to claim the TAB Rewards Handicap (1200m) at the midweek meeting.
Farrell is based at Muswellbrook in the Upper Hunter region of NSW and says he enlisted Rawiller when he found out Fort Sumter’s handicap.
The heavyweight rider justified the selection.
“That’s why you put the best on them,” Farrell said.
Earlier in the day an emotional Tommy Berry thanked the racing community for its concern over his twin brother Nathan’s health.
Nathan is in hospital in Singapore after being diagnosed with viral encephalitis which can cause inflammation of the brain.