Echuca’s class a bit strong for Archard

November 04, 2017

Echuca Racing Chief Executive Leigh Newton brings a birthday carrot cake for trainer Rhys Archard and Make Mine Brandy, who will celebrate turning seven on Monday by racing in the 1100m Benchmark 58 Handicap at Echuca. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

BUSINESS might be a bit slow at present for Echuca trainer Daryl Archard, but he’s predicting things will be picking up in the coming months.

Heading into Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup Day races at Echuca, the long-time local trainer said he wasn’t expecting any runners, currently in the midst of building up the stable’s arsenal of young horses.

‘‘It’s probably been a bit quiet, but (son and fellow trainer) Rhys has been going all right,’’ Archard said.

‘‘I’ve got about a dozen in work and Rhys would have nine or 10.

‘‘They’re all young and just getting going. They’re getting through barrier trials and getting educated. Hopefully we’ll start to see something from them by the end of the year.’’

Archard said one of the toughest parts of his job was the grind of taking a horse and getting it ready to compete, let alone ready to win races.

‘‘It’s a long job. You’ve got to get them used to the barriers, get them jumping well for jump outs with other horses and then get to official trials,’’ he said.

‘‘You need to get them passed to run with stewards. It’s a long job, all that can take six months.

‘‘It’s just patience, and then you finally get them going and they’re too slow.

‘‘It’s something unfortunately we all have to go through, getting them all educated. And some take more time than others, staying-bred horses can take longer than sprinter types.’’

Archard has two horses nominated for Tuesday’s races — three-year-old maiden Rapid Ronda and five-year-old gelding I Am Dan — but didn’t expect either to run, instead both are more likely to run over the weekend at different tracks.

‘‘They’re struggling a little bit at the moment and the Echuca class is probably a bit strong at the moment,’’ Archard said.

Rhys Archard, who has reeled off more winners in this season’s 33 starts (six) than he did in all of last season (five wins from 87 starts), has veteran mare Make Mine Brandy and four-year-old gelding Arellano nominated, both around the money in recent starts.

And Daryl, a veteran of the Echuca racing scene, said Tuesday’s event was right up there with the biggest.

‘‘Probably Echuca Cup day is the biggest, but if you’ve got horses with some ability, this can be the one to target,’’ he said.

‘‘There’s so much racing on spread across the state the races can be a bit easier to win.’’

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