By Glenn Davis
A drop in distance and weight has boosted Gold Coast trainer David Fletcher’s confidence of Star Stryker returning to the winning list at Beaudesert on Thursday.
Star Stryker carried 57 kilograms when runner-up last start to Send Us A Sign in an 1100-metre Benchmark race at Beaudesert on October 28.
However, the four-year-old mare drops to the minimum 54kgs for her assignment in the Domesday @Aquis Farm Class One Handicap (1050m) but has drawn awkwardly in barrier nine.
“She looked like winning at the 200 metres last start and only just caught on the line,” Fletcher said.
“She’s pulled up really well since her last run and I think she’s a great chance over the shorter trip.”
Ironically, Star Stryker was Fletcher’s last winner when the daughter of Stryker won her maiden at the Gold Coast in September.
Fletcher, 36, has only been training for just over a year after working for four years as foreman for the now retired former Sydney and Gold Coast trainer Mario Caltabiano.
The former Kiwi jumps jockey claimed his first metropolitan winner with Wild ‘N’ Famous at the Sunshine Coast in July.
“I’ve only got nine horses in work but I’ve got a few ready to run in town shortly,” Fletcher said.
“I used to ride over the jumps in New Zealand but I only had about five rides.
“My brother was a good jockey and won a Liston Stakes in Melbourne as an apprentice.”
Fletcher is like many former jockeys who have turned to training and rides most of his stable in trackwork.
“Being a former jockey helps as I ride all my horses in their trackwork,” he said.
Former Stradbroke Handicap winning jockey Jason Taylor has retained the ride on Star Stryker.
Fletcher rates the Dalby-trained mare Princess Kandis as the main danger to Star Stryker.
Princess Kandis is chasing a hat-trick of wins following victories at Clifton and Kumbia.
The David Reynolds-trained four-year-old was successful last start for talented Toowoomba jockey Rebecca Goldsbury but regular rider Pietro Romeo travels an hour each morning to ride her work and has regained the mount.
Racing Queensland webnews November 14