It’s a stable in a rich vein of form with 10 winners (20% and a further 18 top fives (56%) from her past 50 runners and Goulburn-based trainer Tash Burleigh will be looking for more success at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday.
Burleigh will saddle up her stable star Al Mah Haha in the Petaluma Handicap over 1400m and has two live hopes in To The Nines and Tulla Park in the Highway Handicap, which opens the ten-race card.
You’d love to own a stable full of gallopers like Al Mah Haha who has won four races, qualified for two Country Championships finals, and earned almost $600,000 for his connections along the way.
After a couple of recent unlucky outings, the seven-year-old has drawn the inside alley and gets 2kg weight relief with Jenny Duggan’s claim.
“He’s drawn nicely and back to 1400m nice and fresh, I think that’s more his go,” Burleigh said.
Not a lot of luck last start from the bad barrier being three-wide the trip, it’s the opposite this time around we come out of one.
“It’s a nice little field and I’ve think we’ve found a nice race.”
Recent Goulburn Cup winner Al Mah Haha has given his connections a fantastic ride, qualifying for the 2019 Country Championships final before a mishap caused him to not take part. He then qualified for the final again the following year and got to show his true colours running a close-up second.
“We had the quinella in our qualifier heat at Goulburn and got two into the final in 2019,” Burleigh said.
“One (Bocelli) of them didn’t handle the wet track and poor old Al kicked out at the gates and got scratched behind the barriers. That was all a bit devastating.
“But in 2020 he qualified again and we just got pipped by a nose. He’s really paid his way and given them (owners) a really good ride.”
Earlier in the card Burleigh has two gallopers accepted for the Highway Handicap over 1200m, with them receiving vastly different luck from the barrier gods.
To The Nines has drawn ideally in gate one, while Tulla Park has been allocated the visitor’s draw in gate 20. Both horses will be looking to take this race as a stepping stone to next month’s Country Championships heat at Burleigh’s home course.
“To The Nines wasn’t the best result last start, he went into that pretty fresh and took off. Poor old Brock (Ryan) had a bit of a time holding him,” Burleigh said.
“He just burned up his carrots at the wrong end, but he’s pulled up good.
“Tulla Park has come through his win really well and he’s on track. We’d probably like to send both of these horses to the Country Championships if we can.
“Both are nice horses in their own right so I think they deserve a throw at the stumps.”
As to the Highway concept providing trainers like Burleigh a better chance for her owners to recoup their investment, she is full of praise for the initiative.
“It’s good for the country trainers, but it also gives country owners a chance to go to town too with horses that might not necessarily ever see the likes of town,” Burleigh said.
“It gives them a real buzz.”
As of Wednesday afternoon To The Nines was $13 fixed odds with the TAB for Saturday’s Highway Handicap with Tulla Park sitting at $17. Al Mah Haha is currently rated a $19 chance for his race later in the day.