Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Symons Has High Hopes

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Symons Has High Hopes

Article excerpt

Turf Talk

With Mark Sleeman

MACKAY trainer Darren Symons readily admits it would be a massive feat to train a Rockhampton Cup winner six months after becoming a trainer.

C[pounds sterling]I'm very mindful of the quality we're running against,C[yen] Symons said.

But that is the achievement he's in the hunt for with Old Mates Act today after bursting onto the scene with a swag of wins in recent weeks.

Old Mates Act, winner of his past three in Mackay and Townsville, has drawn barrier one for today's Rockhampton Cup (1600m).

While most trainers would be ecstatic about drawing the rail, Symons said Old Mates Act was the type of horse that liked to race in plenty of space, rather than be cluttered up inside runners.

C[pounds sterling]As much as you'd like to draw one, he's probably one horse that doesn't appreciate it,C[yen] Symons said in the lead-up to today's big feature.

C[pounds sterling]But he's in very good order. I still expect him to run well.

C[pounds sterling]He'll definitely go forward. I wouldn't be surprised if he leads.

C[pounds sterling]He's got the speed to lead. He's quite tough.

C[pounds sterling]If something wants to take him on we'll go with them.C[yen]

Symons, who only took out his trainer's licence in January, is hopeful Old Mates Act will acquit himself well today.

C[pounds sterling]But the quality of the field is second to none. It's one of the best Rocky (Cup) fields I've seen in the last 10 years,'' he said.

C[pounds sterling]I'm very mindful of the quality we're running against.

C[pounds sterling]Steel Lips will be very hard to beat and Writer was outstanding in his last win in Rocky. He spaced them last time.

C[pounds sterling]Local (Mackay) horse Timecall could also run a nice race down in the weights.C[yen]

Symons is trying to keep a cap on his excitement surrounding Old Mates Act's chances in the $100,000 race.

But early markets suggest the six-year-old Testa Rossa gelding is a genuine hope, listed a $8.50 chance.

Symons believes Old Mates Act will appreciate the extra distances of the upcoming Rock CyN' Road Mackay Cup (1800m) and the 2100m of the Townsville Cup on the bigger Cluden Park circuit. …

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