A long association with a prominent owner and successful 2016 are the reasons why Tuncurry trainer Terry Evans could walk away with the TAB Highway Handicap (1100m) this Saturday at Rosehill.
Evans will saddle up Oakfield Time, a four year old daughter of Time Thief in the event and punters may have noticed that the trainer has saddled up several Oakfields in recent times. Evans says it was a chance phone call with owner and Port Stephens mayor Bruce Mackenzie that made that occur.
“I have known Bruce for a while,” Evans said.
“He just called up one night and said your horses are going well so can I send a couple up. I’m not going to turn down an opportunity like that.”
Mackenzie has sent to Evans several horses, but the trainer says that the clear pick of them is Oakfield Time, a last start winner of a 1000m Muswellbrook maiden by five lengths.
“She is the pick of them,” Evans told Justhorseracing.
“She has shown ability throughout although she is a little immature despite the fact she is a four year old.”
In both career outings, the mare has shown super speed to lead and lead comfortably. The 1100m start at Rosehill does suit on pace runners and Evans believes there is no need to change her racing pattern- yet.
“I don’t think we need to change her pattern for Saturday,” Evans said.
“But I really think she will be better with a sit and will get 1400m with time.”
It has been a successful 2016 for Evans, clearly highlighted by Arise Augustus winning successive city races, including a dominant effort at Randwick. Over the last 12 months, he has trained 12 winners and his horses have a 26% place strike rate, one of the best in the North Coast, and he acknowledges it has been the best year for his stable since moving to Tuncurry.
“It was our best year since moving to paradise,” Evans said.
“It has taken a little while to get all systems in place but everything seems to be working well touch wood.”