Hanger to fly south for Beer at Caulfield

Living on the NSW side of the Murray River has curtailed the racing opportunities in Victoria for Albury trainer Mitch Beer.

The trainer is reluctant to send runners across the border to race at places like Bendigo, Kilmore and Seymour unless they warrant the journey.

Beer cannot cross the border himself and must get help from one of his Victorian counterparts.

He will rely on a Caulfield-based trainer when he sends Hanger to race at the track on Saturday in the Group Three Victoria Handicap (1400m).

“If they have to go, they’ve really got to warrant going, but Hanger is set to go on Saturday,” Beer said.

“It’s not like we can throw them on the float Saturday morning and roll the dice. We have to do a bit of planning.

“Fortunately being so close to the Hume Highway we have all the transport companies pretty much come through every night.

“So we can put him on one and he can go down to a trainer at Caulfield on Thursday, race on Saturday and then come home.”

Beer said he was learning more each week about Hanger who has had only three starts for the stable since coming from New Zealand, including a win in the Echuca Cup two starts ago.

“He’s a pretty talented horse I think and I want to take advantage of what he’s rated while we can,” Beer said.

“It wasn’t the biggest field in the Echuca Cup but he put them away quite well and then last time he went to Rosehill and performed well.

“He’s working towards something nice and getting in on the minimum on Saturday will be ideal.”

Beer said if Hanger draws badly and the race is too tough, he had a back-up plan.

He said Hanger could join other members of his team for a 5-1/2 hour trip to Moruya for the Cup on Sunday.

“It’s what we have to do at the moment, but it’s better than staring at 40 empty boxes,” Beer said.

Saturday’s Caulfield race has attracted 32 nominations while the other feature race on the program is the Group Three Easter Cup (2000m).

Both races have had their prize money cut to $128,000 because of the financial impact of the downturn in wagering because of the coronavirus restrictions on race day attendance and the closure of betting outlets.