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Frazer Keeping Faith With Playard

Hawkesbury trainer Garry Frazer hasn’t lost faith in Playard and says punters shouldn’t either!

The lightly-raced four-year-old gets his chance to break back into the winning list at home on Sunday in the J & E Asphalt & Civil Class 2 Handicap (1300m).

“Things just haven’t gone right for him so far this preparation but there’s absolutely no way I have lost faith in him," Frazer said.

“There were excuses when he resumed at Newcastle on October 20 (heat stress/thumps) and he has had no luck at his two subsequent runs when he hasn’t been far away.

“Playard carried 135lbs in those last two runs and comes down to 130lbs on Sunday.”

A lightly-raced son of Hinchinbrook has raced only 12 times for two wins and five placings.

He won two of his first four starts and also finished an excellent second to Savatiano, the subsequent Mona Lisa Stakes winner at Wyong and placed three times in Group company, in a C2 (1300m) at the Scone Cup carnival in May.

Playard was beaten two lengths when fourth to All Too Free in a BM 64 (1100m) at Hawkesbury on November 8 before conceding 4lbs to the promising Chewbacca when third in a BM 66 (1200m) at the Goulburn Cup meeting on November 25.

Grant Buckley, who rode Playard when he resumed at Newcastle, is back on the gelding on Sunday.

Stewards have given Glyn Schofield permission to ride Newcastle filly Kedah 1lbs over her allotted 120lbs in Playard’s race.

Trainers Mitch and Desiree Kearney have made an important gear change on Jonjo’s Comet, who is backing up in the Hawkesbury Self Storage Maiden Handicap (1800m) after “winning” and then losing on protest at Kembla Grange last Saturday.

They have taken blinkers off the gelding and instead will use winkers on him. Rival trainer Gerald Ryan has employed a similar strategy on Stealth Sniper (Glyn Schofield), one of Jonjo’s Comet’s main rivals.

Team Kearney has called up senior jockey Chris O’Brien to ride the Tickets four-year-old in what shapes as a competitive Maiden.

Jonjo’s Comet was having only his sixth start at Kembla last Saturday, and has drawn well at Hawkesbury in a capacity field.

The husband and wife training partnership has three acceptors at their home meeting – but only two will start.

Recent winner Gimme Shelter will miss the Starr Partners Real Estate Benchmark 64 Handicap (1100m) to instead run at Newcastle on Saturday.

Apprentice Jenny Duggan partners Eerised in the Clarendon Tavern Class 2 Handicap (1800m), but Kearney admits the gelding’s disappointing last couple of performances has him stumped.

Eerised finished last of six runners over 1 9⁄16 m on the Kensington track on November then fourth of five starters over 1 7⁄16 m at Newcastle last Sunday.

Before those failures, he finished third over 1 1⁄2 m at Royal Randwick on Melbourne Cup day (November 6).

“If the right Eerised turns then obviously he will be hard to beat,” Kearney said, more in hope. “We have decided to take the blinkers off him again.”


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