Some trainers are unhappy to put an apprentice on a horse without being able to use their full claim but Matt Dale wouldn’t have sent Canberra mare Hay Now to Rosehill without Nick Heywood.
Hay Now and Heywood brought up their third successive win together in Saturday’s Highway Plate (1500m) for country-trained horses.
Heywood’s minimum weight is 55kg, which meant the mare carried a kilogram more than if he had been able to utilise his full three-kilo claim.
“Nick knows the horse and I would rather he rode her at 55 kilos and be strong than push himself to 54,” Dale said.
“I was happy to let him do that.”
Despite not having full advantage at the weights, Hay Now ($3.70 Sportsbet favourite) won her first test beyond 1400 metres by a head when she overhauled Red Knot ($5.50) under vigorous riding from Heywood.
“And it was a good win for her first time at the distance,” Dale said.
“The owners are rapt.
“They are country people and it’s a big thrill to be able to come and win a race at Rosehill.
“This mare keeps improving and we’ll think about where she goes next over the next couple of days.
“We only planned three runs this preparation and she’s won them all.”
Hay Now’s victory gave Heywood a milestone, bringing up his first Saturday double in Sydney after he won on Quick Feet for his bosses, Peter and Paul Snowden.
Heywood was indentured to his trainer/father Chris at Wagga Wagga before coming to Sydney to further his career.