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Hatch Has Wind in his Sayl for Cup Quest
Drawing the “car park” has done little to faze Toowoomba trainer Lindsay Hatch going into tomorrow’s TAB Townsville Cup with race favourite Sayl.
The former Burdekin boy, who now trains a team of 40 horses Toowoomba, will chase a lifelong ambition to win the Cup with Sayl and stablemate and top weight Djukon.
A barn-storming winner of the Mackay Cup a fortnight ago, Sayl will jump from barrier 15 while Djukon came up with gate 7 but Hatch is the mixed fortunes with the barrier draw in his stride
“I’m not disappointed with the gate for Sayl. His jockey Robbie Fradd and I have spoken about it. We were desperate to draw out – maybe not as wide as he has – but we don’t want to get cluttered up,” Hatch said.
“He drew 2 in Mackay and he was in desperate trouble on the home turn trying to get out before he eventually got clear and flashed home to win.
“So we’ll be happy to be in the two or three wide line and get him into the clear coming to the corner.
“He’s a pretty smart horse. You don’t see them finish off like that at the end of 10 furlongs like he did in Mackay – maybe the company wasn’t the strongest.
“But I think I could take him home and win a couple of metro races with him for sure.
“He’s continued to improve and you can only believe what you see. The Mackay win was pretty awesome.”
Hatch also gives stablemate Djukon a strong chance.
The former Chris Waller-trained import showed his class with a strong win at Flemington over 1800m last spring on Oaks day.
Originally from Germany, Djukon’s form fell away in Brisbane before he joined Hatch’s stables in May.
At his second start for the trainer Djukon finished seventh to Sayl in Mackay after a hard run.
Hatch said the gelding was ready to run a big race with Ashley Butler to ride.
“Djukon has improved immensely since Mackay. Ash cried himself to sleep on the Saturday night because he rode him so bad,” he said.
“But he was up front about it and I’ve stuck with him because I think he’s a very good jockey. I think he’s (Djukon) one of the horses to beat for sure.
“You’ve got to lean towards Sayl who is terribly well weighted (56kg) and has that turn of foot.
“But Djukon will take up a spot and I dare say Sayl will be running him down at some stage.”
Hatch said a win in the cup would be a career highlight.
“My father used to take me to the Townsville races when I was a kid. He used to train a few horses out of Ayr. I watched blokes like Kelly Schweida, Butch Mules and Peter Warren riding.
“I’ve been trying to win it for a while – I had a horse in it called Kuttamurra Al and he looked the winner three times in the straight before he ran third .
“I’ve won a Weetwood Hcp but to win a Townsville Cup would be an amazing thrill. It would be huge.”
Pictured: Cup favourite Sayl winning at Doomben in February. The Mackay Cup winner is in top form for this weekend's big race.
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