Feb 26, 2012
New option for Essington after washout
By Glenn Davis
BRISBANE, Feb 26 AAP - The Group Three Newmarket Handicap at Newcastle next month has been added to Essington's list of options following the abandonment of Saturday's Eagle Farm meeting.
Queensland officials acted swiftly to add the Listed Falvelon Handicap to next Saturday's Tattersall's meeting at Eagle Farm which also features the Listed Tattersall's Member's Cup (1600m).
Heavy rain throughout the week topped off by 60 millimetres on Friday night forced the cancellation of Saturday's meeting.
Trainer Toby Edmonds was reluctant to start Essington on a heavy track had it proceeded and pencilled in a barrier trial at the Gold Coast on Tuesday before a likely trip to Canberra for the National Sprint (1400) on March 11.
However, the rescheduled Falvelon Handicap has given Edmonds another option with Essington who could now miss the National Sprint in favour of the Newmarket Handicap (1400m) on March 21.
"I'm going to nominate him again for the Falvelon but I'll speak to his owner first about whether he starts," Edmonds said.
"I can still barrier trial him on Tuesday and take him to Canberra or he can run in the Falvelon and go down for the Newmarket."
The Newcastle Newmarket is run 10 days after the National Sprint and it's possible Essington could run in both.
Essington had topweight with 59 kilograms in the Falvelon Handicap and Edmonds is keen to see him race with a lower weight interstate.
The horse stood flat-footed in the barriers in his first start for Edmonds but still produced an eye-catching performance to finish fourth to Mr Armstrong over 1200 metres at Eagle Farm on February 11.
Edmonds was not totally surprised with his barrier behaviour and will remove his blinkers and a tongue-tie for his next assignment.
"We still don't know why he didn't step away from the barriers last run but I believe he has done it in the past," Edmonds said.
"I've given him a lot of work in the barriers since without blinkers and a tongue-tie and he's gone well."
Essington has been trained for most of his career by Darryl Hansen who had to disperse his Caloundra team after being disqualified for six months in December.
The five-year-old had one start for Caloundra's Troy Hall, finishing eighth to My Destiny in the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes at Doomben on Christmas Eve before Edmonds took charge.
Edmonds has yet to decide whether Essington will head to Sydney for the autumn but the Brisbane winter carnival is definitely on the gelding's agenda.