Sport

Hussed leads the home town charge

By Fraser Walker-Pearce

HUSSED is in hot form and while she is stepping up a class or two at Echuca races tomorrow, trainer Rhys Archard is confident the five-year-old mare will be thereabouts.

A last start winner at Berrigan in a 14-horse field in a dash for cash over 950m, the horse has only been out of the money once in its past six starts.

Running in the seventh event on the eight-race card — a $20,000 sprint over 1100m — Hussed has drawn wide at 12 but Archard still rates her.

“Hussed has been in some weaker races recently than the one on Saturday, but the advantage is we’re playing on the home track, so that makes it easier,” Archard said.

“We picked this one out three weeks ago after a good run of form, but she’s up in class — and up against it as well,” he said.

Hussed is one of 13 local horses nominated for tomorrow’s meeting.

Archard said some of his other strong performers — Arellano and Japanese Slipper — would be hard-pressed to have a run.

“Arellano won’t get a start and as Japanese Slipper is a fourth emergency she most likely will not get a run,” Archard said.

“And Hussed was drawn poorly, so that makes it tricky.

Rhys’ father Daryl Archard has Mr Integrity set to go round in the first race of the day.

The gelding has been moved from its previous trainer to Archard’s stable and in its last start it placed fifth.

“(Mr Integrity) is first up from a long spell, he’s a staying horse, he trialled well and we hope he sprints well,” Archard senior said.

“It’s an advantage at the home track. He’s been out for three months because he was badly in need of a spell so he got it,” he said.

Echuca Racing Club chief executive Leigh Newton said with the addition of five extra race meets from Seymour in the past six months, he was excited to get one of the club’s own events under way.

‘‘All those races were on top of our own schedule, but this is one of ours. It’s a new date for us, and it’s great to get a Saturday in the middle of September,’’ Newton said.

‘‘Originally we had seven races, but there have been a number of acceptances, so that’s been expanded to eight, and we’re bringing in a big screen for everyone to see races from Flemington as well as Randwick and all around Australia,’’ he said.

Newton said the track is ‘‘holding up quite well’’ in spite of the heavy usage.

‘‘There will be a four-week break after Saturday, but this will be our third race meeting in 19 days, so it’ll need the break.

‘‘We haven’t had too much rain on the track which is good,’’ he said.

Racing starts at 12.46pm with gates opening at 10.30am.