Scott Singleton was groomed for the equine industry by Bart Cummings as a leading trackwork rider, and now the Hawkesbury-based horseman is hoping to impress Sydney’s elite trainers on a regular basis.
That process takes a potential step forward on day one of The Championships at Randwick when he saddles Cambage in Saturday’s Group Three Adrian Knox Stakes.
Targeting a top-four finish that would justify backing up a week later in the $1 million Australian Oaks (2400m), Singleton explained the significance of training a runner in a highlight of Sydney’s autumn carnival for the first time.
“It would probably be career-changing,” Singleton said.
“You find a lot of times you can train plenty of winners against guys like (Chris) Waller at provincial and normal town races but people don’t really have a lot of faith in you as far as being able to mix it with them on the big stage.”
Should Cambage make the cut, those perceptions may change.
“I think it gives everyone a bit of confidence that you can get the best out of their horse if you can win those sorts of races,” Singleton said.
“It would definitely be a career highlight and probably just mean I’ll get a little bit better class of horse here.”
Singleton is upbeat about Cambage’s prospects with the filly a $23 chance in the Luxbet’s market headed by the James Cummings-trained Mull Over ($5.50).
“The preparation has been perfect,” he said.
“She’s third-up, she definitely runs the (2000m) trip out.”
Singleton has no concerns about the rain-affected track.
“It’ll make it more of a test for the babies, especially the ones that are going at 2000 for the first time. That’s the least of her worries, she wants a lot further,” he said.
Cambage finished midfield in a 1600m-race at Warwick Farm earlier this month, but Singleton was unperturbed.
“A lot of people thought she didn’t handle the wet because she dropped off before the turn and looked under pressure,” he said.
“That’s just her in a mile race. She’s just not quite speedy enough to go when they sprint.
“Once they were stopping a little bit late she started to warm up.”