Canberra trainer Matt Dale will make a rare trip to Sydney with Hermosa Beach to run in the Group 3 Triscay Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
Since Canberra horses were excluded from the popular Highway Handicap series late last year Dale has focused locally, although Magic Millions Country Cup winner Zafina ensured he had a worthwhile excursion to the Gold Coast last month.
Hermosa Beach is being aimed at the Listed $130,000 National Sprint (1400m) in Canberra on March 11, when Dale hopes she can improve on last year’s fourth placing.
“She went super in it last year. She’s got a good record in Canberra so we thought we’d set her for it again,” Dale said.
She is an outsider for the Triscay but Dale sees it as a good lead-up to the Canberra race.
Dale said Hermosa Beach was likely to be retired this year, particularly after adding black-type to her record in September with a third in the Listed Penny Edition Stakes at Morphettville when under the temporary care of Philip Stokes.
“We sent her down there to chase a little bit of black-type and she got that, so that’s good,” Dale said.
Dale has only had three Saturday runners in Sydney since Fell Swoop tailed the inaugural $10 million Everest field in mid-October and admitted missing duels with leading Highway Handicap trainer Matthew Dunn.
“It was disappointing to get out of the Highways, that’s for sure,” he said.
Dale finished up with 10 winners while Dunn has 14 and Goulburn trainer Danny Williams is now in second spot with 11-1/2.
The Canberra Racing Club reacted to the Racing NSW move by introducing a $50,000 Federal race at every meeting to support ACT trainers.
“They’re a good compensation. I won one the other day,” Dale said.