Emerging young star Amarillo Highway seems on the road to stardom.
But his respected trainer, Glenn Rounds, knows only too well that ‘road’ can be long and winding.
“He’s got a nice motor but is still learning to race – particularly in coming from behind,” Rounds said. “He’s still a pup… By the time he’s had around 20 starts, he’ll be a real smart dog.”
Amarillo Highway (Apr ’18 Aussie Infrared x Until Tuesday) doesn’t officially turn two years old until April 28.
But already he has notched five wins from nine starts, including four of his past five. And he’s won on both metropolitan tracks – Sandown (29.72sec) and The Meadows (30.00sec).
Amarillo Highway is engaged at Warragul tonight (Race 6, Box 2 – 8.22pm). He should obtain a clear run early considering the scratching of Zianna Rose (Box 3) and a vacant Box 5.
“He’s a nice railer… And he’s very strong, he might get a bit of ground later on,” Rounds said.
Amarillo Highway boasts a slick 25.59sec PB at Warragul, but Rounds says Captain Jake (Box 1) and Aston Silk (Box 4) loom as dangers.
“Captain Jake is a smart type and Aston Silk can come out of a box and run quick sectionals,” he said.
Rounds also has Fireball Friday in the following race (Race 7, Box 2 – 8.43pm).
Fireball Friday has only had a few starts since clocking a 29.61sec win at Sandown in early October last year.
“We had retired him, but decided to put him back into work,” Rounds said. “He’s been injury prone from a young age and endured three bouts of surgery to the stopper region on his left foreleg.”
Rounds added that Fireball Friday “has done a wonderful job to get back”. “I’ve hung in with him and he’s shown a lot of courage… He’s kept ticking along for us.”
Fireball Friday (Nov ’16 Fabregas x Mayhem) has only raced on 15 occasions for five wins, three seconds and three thirds. He’s notched two wins in three starts from the ‘check’ box.
Expert form analyst The Watchdog has assessed both Rounds-trained speedsters as favourite – Amarillo Highway ($1.70) and Fireball Friday ($1.90).