NSW trainer Ron Marsden will return to Healesville for Sunday afternoon’s Group 3 SEN 1116 Cup heats full of confidence after Cee Jay’s Boy and Hardaway Titan made winning straight track debuts last weekend.
Cee Jay’s Boy and Hardaway Titan, litter brothers by super sire Barcia Bale, both enhanced their imposing records when tuning up for the heats of the $47,000 to-the-winner Healesville Cup, their first interstate foray.
“They’d never been up a straight track before – they’ve never been up at Appin in NSW – so I decided to take them down for a look before the Cup heats because against those good Victorian dogs you’ve got to know where you’re going,” said Sydney-based Ron Marsden.
“I was hoping to get one winner but two was even better. It would be nice to get two winners again on Sunday.”
WATCH: Hardaway Titan (box 1) win on debut at Healesville in preparation for the Healesville Cup.
Cee Jay’s Boy claimed his eighth straight victory and 20th from 31 starts overall with a runaway success over the 350m Cup course, clocking a best of day 19.20s.
Having his first start in a month, Hardaway Titan, which boasts an even more impressive 20 from 25 strike rate, contested a 300m event and was victorious in 16.62s.
WATCH: Cee Jay’s Boy (box 1) win at Healesville, his first start up the straight.
After winning from box one last Sunday, Cee Jay’s Boy will move to eight for the fifth of six Cup heats, with TAB installing the interstate raider as the $2 favourite, shading Time To Talk at $2.30.
Hardaway Titan has drawn box five for the sixth heat and is the $2.90 second elect, with Healesville specialist Eye Got It, the winner of 18 from 23 up the straight, the $1.70 favourite, while dual Group 1 winner Dyna Patty, another straight track newcomer, is a $3.60 chance.
“Cee Jay’s Boy is definitely the better chance of my two,” Marsden said.
“He’s drawn well in eight. Box one would’ve been nice again but if he can’t have one I’d rather him be out there than in the middle and he will run straight.
“Hardaway Titan was having his first run in five or six weeks so I put him over 300m for two reasons.
“Firstly, I didn’t want to clash with Cee Jay’s Boy and I also thought he’d be better for the run to step up to 350m the following week.
“I’d rather Hardaway Titan (box 5) swap boxes with Eye Got it (box 6). I’d be happier to be on its outside.
“But with six heats if he can run a good second he could get through to the final anyway and he’ll have another run under his belt.”
While Marsden acknowledges the quality of the Victorian opposition and the difficulties presented by an eight and a half hour journey, he says the prizemoney on offer at Healesville is simply too good to ignore.
“You’ve got to have a go at it,” Marsden said.
“It’s worth $5,280 to win a heat and then if you even run third in the final that’s another $6000, which makes it more than $11,000.
“It would be a nice change for NSW dogs to go down and get some of that Victorian prizemoney because it’s mostly them coming up here to take ours!”