Saddling up two horses in one race – both with undeniable chances but with different owners – can be problematical for any trainer.
Wagga’s Wayne Carroll faces the dilemma on Saturday on his home track when Grand Allowance and Heysen do battle in the Combined Group 9 Clubs League Of Their Own Mile (1600m).
Owners all want to hear from the trainer their horse can win.
Diplomacy comes to the fore when Carroll was asked what horse is more fancied by the stable.
“Honestly I can’t split them,” Carroll said. “I’ll be cheering for a dead heat. I hate having two horses in the same race. It’s always difficult.
“One horse (Grand Allowance) is owned by my family and the other (Heysen) is owned by my mates. As long as both horses run well that’s all I can hope for.”
Grand Allowance comes into the event an impressive last start winner over 2046m at Benalla on October 2.
A horse blessed with above average ability but one who has suffered a litany of injury problems, was having his first try over 2000m.
“It’s the first time I’ve been able to get him to 2000 metres and he handled it really well,” Carroll said. “He ran through the line really well at Benalla.
“The only negative is he’s coming back to 1600 metres.
“He’s only a Class 5 horse but he’s being asked to carry topweight (61kg) in an open handicap. He’s a big strong horse though and he should handle it.
“The horse has trained on really well since Benalla. He’s good in himself and he has to run to get him to his next race plan.
“It’s a well-known fact he’s had multiple injuries during his career – his body has let him down – but we’ve managed to get on top of a lot of his issues this time in.
“At the top of his game he’s a very good horse.”
Heysen, the winner of six from 30 starts, began this preparation with a 1400m win first up at Jerliderie on September 19 before being burdened with 60kg when seventh to Darci’s Affair in the Cootamundra Cup (1600m) on October 4.
“The hard track and dropping back early didn’t suit him at Cootamundra,” Carroll said. “He jumped a lot in weight and it just anchored him big time.
“He’s trained on really well since and the mile is going to really suit him.
“He’ll be hard to beat if the weight (60.5kg) doesn’t anchor him.”
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