Nations Capital Assignment for Essington?

Feb 23, 2012

Canberra option for Essington

By Glenn Davis

BRISBANE, Feb 23 AAP - Essington will head to Canberra for next month's Listed National Sprint if trainer Toby Edmonds decides against a start at Eagle Farm.

Essington has topweight of 59 kilograms in Saturday's Listed Falvelon Handicap and will undergo two crucial gear changes if he runs in the 1200-metre feature.

The five-year-old, who won last year's Falvelon Handicap, left punters shellshocked at his first start for Edmonds when he stood flat-footed in the barriers before finishing fourth to Mr Armstrong over 1200 metres at Eagle Farm on February 11.

Essington has been trained for most of his career by Darryl Hansen but was transferred to Caloundra's Troy Hall and then Edmonds after the former north Queensland trainer was disqualified for six months,

Edmonds will confer with Essington's owners before making a final decision on Friday whether the gelding takes his place in the field.

"We still don't know why he didn't step away from the barriers last run but I still thought his effort was super," Edmonds said.

"He pulled up really well after the run and I've done a lot of work with him since in the barriers.

"He's worn blinkers and has raced in a tongue tie most of his career but I'll take them off if he runs on Saturday.

"He's been through the barriers without them and there's been no problems."

Edmonds is yet to decide whether Essington will head to Sydney for the autumn if he runs in the National Sprint (1400m) on March 11.

"If he doesn't run on Saturday I'll barrier trial him on Tuesday and head for Canberra," Edmonds said.

"It's one race at a time and I'll decide after his next run wherever it is whether he'll run in Sydney.

"He's getting a lot of weight here and he'll only have around 56.5kg in the National Sprint if he goes down for it."

Edmonds has engaged Glen Colless to partner Essington in the Falvelon Handicap but expects Chris Munce to be reunited with him if he gives Canberra the go-ahead.

"We weren't going to run him on Saturday thinking it was too short so Chris took another ride on Tierqualo," he said.

Edmonds is confident Essington can rediscover his best form in either the Falvelon or the National Sprint.

"If he jumps, which I expect him to, he'll be hard to beat," he said.

"The Falvelon is not a vintage race if he runs."