By Glenn Davis
Trainer Richard Laming believes Jamaican Rain is going better than ever and is confident the six-year-old mare can claim back-to-back Glasshouse Handicaps at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
Rated one of the country’s best wet trackers, Jamaican Rain revelled on a heavy track to win last year’s 1400-metre Listed feature by nearly four lengths.
Jamaican Rain will have similar conditions this year with the Sunshine Coast track again in the heavy range.
The daughter of Manhattan Rain had excuses at her past two starts when seventh to Despatch in the Group 1 Goodwood Handicap at Morphettville in mid-May before heading north for the Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara at Eagle Farm last week.
“She finished fifth in the Tatt’s Tiara and was only beaten just over a length,” Laming said.
“She pulled up terrific after the run and hasn’t left an oat in her feed bin.
“I think she’s well weighted and her last two runs have been terrific.
“She got an interrupted run in the Tatt’s Tiara between the 400 and 300 metres and it probably cost her a place.
“In the Goodwood she was three and four wide with no cover.
“She’s going the best I’ve ever had her and 1400 metres is probably her pet distance,” he said.
Jamaican Rain is aiming to become only the second horse to win successive Glasshouse Handicaps following the Rob Heathcote-trained Woorim who completed the double in 2010-11.
Only one other horse has won the Glasshouse Handicap twice since it was first run in 1989 and that was Rancho’s Coup who won in 1995 and 1997.
Jockey Tegan Harrison rode Jamaican Rain in the Goodwood Handicap and will be reunited with the mare, replacing Jamie Kah who was aboard in the Tatt’s Tiara.
Several jockeys have won the Glasshouse Handicap twice but Harrison is aiming to become the first rider to win the race in successive years.
Laming will head home with Jamaican Rain after the Glasshouse Handicap and plans to try his luck during the Melbourne spring.
“There’s plenty of suitable races for her in the spring back home and we’d like to target fillies and mares’ races to start with then look at the bigger races like the Myer Classic,” he said.
“We had a similar plan after she won the Glasshouse last year but she wasn’t quite right after she ran fifth in the (Group 3) Cockram at Caulfield so I had to put her away,” he said.
Racing Queensland webnews June 28