By Kobie O'Brien
Trainer-jockey dual license holder David Rewald will be hoping for a repeat performance from veteran Wicked Woody in this weekend’s TAB Battle Of The Bush qualifier at Charleville, after the 7-year-old won by a mammoth 7 lengths at the track last start, in a field that included this Saturday’s challengers Gendebien, Malibu Affair and Exstratum.
The 59-start veteran has showed no signs of slowing down, drawing the 1 alley in the Quilpie Newmarket, going straight to the front and given a good hit out by trainer-jockey Rewald who is confident the horse can again run up to his convincing last-start win.
“He’s pulled up good from that run the other day.” Rewald said.
“We expect him to go just as good, there’s a bit of give in the track which will suit him and he’s drawn a good alley.”
“He’s pulled up good, he’s worked good and he’s well-weighted so we’re hoping he will go well.”
Wicked Woody while game has been luckless in recent starts, drawing barrier 7 or wider in 4 or his last 5 however dual license holder Rewald is confident the horse can now capitalise on the opportunity for a trip to town.
It will be quite the success story for Rewald’s Wicked Woody, at start number 60 with a trip to Eagle Farm on the horizon after having nine attempts at winning a Class B earlier on.
“He’s a very slow learner.” Rewald said.
“It took him a while to learn how to put it all together but when he did start to hit his straps he went not too bad.”
Wicked Woody will be strongly challenged by the likes of Wayne Baker’s Gendebien, who led and won by 6.25 lengths at Charleville back in March before finishing runner up in two of his next three. David Rewald has pointed Gendebien out as one of the main dangers heading into the qualifier, interestingly beaten only 2.8 lengths in his early days by Le Romain.
“That horse of Wayne Baker’s (Gendebien) has been racing well and they’re going to pull a kilo and a half off it.”
“Heroism was going pretty good up in Mount Isa and Craig’s (Malibu Affair) has been running a few places in a lot of those races.”
TAB Battle of the Bush qualifying also takes place at Home Hill this weekend where just the three trainers will fight it out for a spot in the final. Olivia Cairns, John Manzelmann and Jade Doolan stables make up the field of seven runners.
Inaugural Battle of the Bush winning trainer Olivia Cairns will have her sights set on another trip to Brisbane with Stellar Knight, as she tries to qualify him for a second time, joining Fab’s Cowboy and Kakakenny.
Class should see the 10-time winner be very competitive here however Manzelmann’s The Greatest will be better for last week’s run and should be right in the finish. Manzelmann is looking to go to Brisbane for a second year in a row after making the trip last year with Gingersnap.
The Home Hill qualifier is race 5 on the card and will be run at 3:20pm while Charleville will go at 4:00pm and is the last event of the day.