Don’t be surprised to see a bit more of New Zealand trainer Peter Lock and some of his compatriots once the new prize money levels take effect in Sydney.
Lock got a pleasant surprise with Wednesday’s announcement of $125,000 minimum prize money for Saturday metropolitan races and $50,000 on a Wednesday.
“It’s fantastic money, that’s carnival type money for us back home.” Lock said.
Lock had his first Sydney runner last weekend for more than 20 years, with Hiflyer fourth at Rosehill and the trainer will have dual representation at Randwick on Saturday.
He has Dougie running in the TAB Rewards Handicap and Mr Luigi in the Australian Turf Club Handicap.
Lock said the 1600m may be a shade short for Dougie but is expecting the soon to be five-year-old to run well.
“He’s settled in good. He’s eating well and I expect him to run a really good race,” Lock said.
“I’m under no illusions. Australian sprinter-milers are very quick and I’m not sure whether we’ll keep up with them or not, but he’s very honest and a tough horse and I’m confident he’ll run well.
“We’ll see how he comes through this run and whether we back him up the following week in a benchmark 90 over 2000 metres or we wait a fortnight.”
Lock said if Dougie measured up in Sydney he may recommend the gelding remained to chase the better prize money.
Rising eight-year-old Mr Luigi has been lightly raced, registering three wins and nine minor placings from 13 starts.
Lock said like Dougie, Mr Luigi was a tough, honest horse but would prefer it wetter than what he’s going to get on Saturday.
“He’s had a few leg issues that we’re all over now and he’s 100 per cent,” Lock said.
“He’s a horse that’s hardly been out of the money and a very good horse when you’ve got him right.
“He’ll stay on for a while and if I have to go home I’ll leave him with Peter Robl who I’ve been staying with.
“I’ve been here two or three times before without a lot of luck.
“We need a bit of luck on our shoulders and hopefully that will all come this trip.”