Craig Ferguson: has four runners in one race at Forbury Park. Photo: Race Images.
There’ll be no excuses if Craig Ferguson doesn’t manage to snare the fifth on the card at Forbury Park on Thursday night.
The young Wyndham trainer lines up four runners in the rating 48-53 pace, and three of them have drawn barriers one, two and three.
He scoffed at the suggestion he had been bribing officials, citing a long run of the opposite luck.
“I thought it might get to the stage that I would have to start paying off someone because we weren’t drawing any good for ages,” he joked.
Recent stable addition Melina Lowe looks the best of them on paper after a nice effort for second in her first run for Ferguson on the same track last week.
She was actually retired after last racing for Kirk Larsen in April but has been given a temporary reprieve.
“I’ve always really liked her and the owners are a couple of locals from here in Wyndham.
“They had retired her but I asked them if I could have a go with her at Forbury over the winter and they didn’t mind.
“She’s done a good job, having won five already, and certainly feels like she could win a few more on her current rating.”
Brendon McLellan will pilot Melina Lowe again while Ferguson will steer consistent mare Rozzano from the inside draw.
“She’s not really suited to the trail; she needs to be out and rolling.
“And I tried to lead last week from one and she got crossed.
“Her best races have been sitting parked and I may have to look to get there so I can get her moving from the 500.”
The form line on Honour The Bet is uninspiring, but Ferguson says he is actually fairly satisfied with the horse this week.
“I’ve been happy with him; he hasn’t drawn any good since he last won and he got shut out of a run last start.
“Sheree (Tomlinson) drives him this week and she drove him when he last won, too.
“She’s quite an aggressive driver and will suit him well.”
No More Change is a horse that regularly catches the eye with strong late finishes but, as Ferguson points out, is often a false favourite.
“It’s amazing the amount of times she’s been picked to win, but she’s only won three times from over 50 starts.
“She’s a good, honest sort of horse but is no star and needs a run to suit.”
Ferguson lumps for Melina Lowe as the best of his quarter on form, draw and work.
“At her best she’s better than my other three and this is a typical Forbury winter race, one which she should be able to win.”
He also lines up two maiden fillies in the same race earlier on the card - Bub’s VC and Yankee Miss.
Bub’s VC has drawn one, but it won’t really suit her, while Yankee Miss has contrasting fortunes, drawing seven.
“Bub’s VC lacks a bit of gate speed and we just need to try and stay handy to give her a chance.
“The other horse was running on ok last week and will be better for the run but will need luck from the draw.”
Ferguson has trained six winners in this, his third season as a license-holder, and says he has done the best with limited stock.
“It hasn’t been too bad; I haven’t raced a wide range of horses.
“It’s just the same ones that have been going around all season.
“But I have eight yearlings coming through and the next couple of years are looking bright with them.
“I’m really looking forward to it.”