Busy Begg not slowing down
It has been a busy week for trainer Grahame Begg and with five runners at Randwick on Saturday he won’t be slowing down any time soon.
Begg has been putting the final touches to stable star All Silent ahead of his tilt at next month’s Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin.
A scintillating winner of the Group One Patinack Farm Classic during the Melbourne spring, All Silent will have a jumpout at Randwick on Friday before being flown to Hong Kong on Monday.
Begg will follow four days later but he has plenty to keep him busy until then.
Among his quintet of runners at the Randwick Kensington track on Saturday will be Hotel Casino who will line up in the Macau Jockey Club Trophy (1150m).
The gelding will strip fitter following three runs from a spell, the latest when third to Beaded in the Listed Yalumba Cup (1300m) at Hawkesbury.
Begg said the six-year-old had taken a little longer to come to hand as he got older but pointed out he had a strong record on the Kensington track with two wins and two placings from five starts.
He will be ridden by apprentice Brenton Avdulla whose two-kilo claim will bring Hotel Casino’s weight down to 51.5kg.
"I’ve freshened him up and he’s got a good record on the Kenso track," Begg said.
"Brenton Avdulla will ride him and with his claim the horse will have the lightest weight he’s carried for a long time."
Avdulla is apprenticed to Gai Waterhouse and Begg has also booked him to partner Laletta in the Arrowfield Stud Hcp (1800m), Goldam in the Korea Racing Authority Cup (1000m) and the lightly-raced Al Sahra in the McGrath Estate Agents Hcp (1150m).
The latter posted a midweek win at Canterbury at her only start and Begg said he had little option but to step her straight up to open three-year-old company on a Saturday.
"The way the programming is there are no three-year-old fillies races for her, I would have had to wait until December 12th so she would have had a month between runs," he said.
"Once again, the programming is dictating where we run.
"I think the benchmark system is quite good but it’s the continuity of races that is an issue.
"The races don’t flow into one another."
Begg’s other runner will be Purrpurrlena who will be ridden by apprentice Michael Palmer in the Bacardi Hcp (1550m).
By Mandy Cottell