By Glenn Davis
Caloundra trainer Stu Kendrick concedes Ipswich has not been a happy hunting ground this season but is hopeful his record can improve with a trio of runners on Wednesday.
Kendrick has won five premiershp on his home track at the Sunshine Coast but had had a lean time at Ipswich with only four winners since the start of the season.
Kendrick has trained only two winners and 13 placings from 26 starters at Ipswich this season compared to his dominance at home where he has an imposing record of 30 winners and 47 placings from 181 starters.
“We don’t go to Ipswich often but we win our fair share when we do make the trip,” Kendrick said.
“Our horses prefer the big roomier track like Caloundra and you need a different type of horse to take to Ipswich.”
Kendrick has three runners engaged and has given punters a strong pointer by naming Embattled as his best hope in the male’s division of the QTIS Two-Year-Old Handicap (1200,)
His other starters are Diamond Jess in the Maiden Plate (1200m) and Mr Strachan in the Class Five Handicap (1200m).
Embattled drew awkwardly in barrier six but impressed Kendrick when he finished fourth to Zac Attack in an 1110-metre open two-year-old race at Doomben on March 20.
“He’s a nice horse and his first up run was sensational,” Kendrick said.
“He’s got the speed to get across from his awkward draw and I expect him to go forward.
“He was shin sore after his first two runs so I tipped him out and had him gelded and he’s come back a lot better.”
Kendrick nelieves both Diamond Jess and Mr Strachan can improve on their latest efforts.
Diamond Jess finished fifth on debut behind her stablemate Striking Distance in a 1000-metre maiden at the Sunshine Coast on March 31 while Mr Strachan was successful in a Benchmark 65 race at the Sunshine Coast on March 24.
“Diamond Jess trialled well before her first run when she got squeezed out early,” Kendrick said.,
“My other horse won the race and there’s not much between them.
“Hopefully, Diamond Jess can ping from the gates now she’s drawn inside.
“Mr Strachan won well last start and has been racing consistently.
“He’ll race well again if he can get across from the tricky gate.”
Racing Queensland webnews April 9