Old News In The Headlines Ahead Of City Debut

UNBEATEN youngster Old News will be auditioning for a shot at the Great Chase when he steps out as an odds-on favourite at The Meadows on Friday.

Adam Dobbin

30 September 2021

UNBEATEN youngster Old News will be auditioning for a shot at the Group 2 Great Chase when he steps out as an odds-on favourite at The Meadows on Friday.

The son of Fernando Bale has been hugely impressive in two dominant Geelong victories to launch his career, scoring over the 460-metres in 25.69 and 25.84 with an aggregate winning margin of 11 ½ lengths.

“He’s definitely above average but exactly how good he is I’m not really sure,” co-trainer Jamie Ennis said.

“Friday will be his first ever 500 metre assignment so it will be a good test to see how he handles it. He’s had some trials at The Meadows and impressed me and box one is a bonus as well.

“If he’s going to measure up in a race like the Great Chase he really needs to be running well in something like this.”

FIELDS AND FORM THE MEADOWS FRIDAY

In what looms as a two-way battle in the opening event, TAB fixed odds have installed Old News (box one) a $1.50 favourite ahead of the Jason Thompson-trained Amnesty (box three) at $3.50.

“He’s got good speed and mid-race is where he does his best work,” Ennis said.

“It will be the last bit that’s the test being his first 500 but that’s not to say with some further racing and experience he doesn’t get stronger.

 



“How good he might be I’ll tell you after he’s had 15 or so starts. It’s when they get up in grade you get a guide as to what you’ve got.”

Ennis is also represented at Friday’s The Meadows meeting by recent kennel acquisition, prolific winning sprinter, Barooga Smoke.

Also a son of Fernando Bale, Barooga Smoke, winner of the Group 3 Easter Gift at Sandown in April, has drawn box three in race eight on the card.

“He had a few injury problems to get over but I’m rapped with how he’s going,” Ennis said.

 

“He made the Healesville Cup Final which I really only put him in for fitness. He then flew winning at Warrnambool and was enormous when finishing second last start at Ballarat – he should have won.

“I couldn’t be happier with him but Lakeview Walter might have the edge on him Friday. If he wins he’s probably going even better than I think he is as there’s plenty of speed drawn to the inside.”

Ennis is hopeful that the 15-time winner can measure up in some of the bigger races over the Melbourne Spring Carnival.

“He’s a fantastic dog … you just need to keep him sound and point him in the right direction,” Ennis added.

“If the next month or so goes to plan he’s only a decent box draw away from being a chance in a race like the Melbourne Cup.

“I’ve had worse dogs than him make a race like that. It generally all comes down to box draws.”

TAB Fixed Odds have Barooga Smoke at $5 on Friday with favouritism with Lakeview Walter (box two) at $2.40.

Fernando Mick (box one) is on the next line at $2.60.