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Skyray trying to improve on seconds

Impeccably bred Skyray is scheduled to run at Canterbury but his trainer Clarry Conners has a few misgivings.

Conners would prefer not to run him on the heavy track on Wednesday and is hoping it can improve with warmer weather in Sydney.

He is also unhappy with his wide barrier in the TAB Handicap (1250m) and has the colt entered for Randwick on Saturday but has not been able to find a suitable jockey.

Skyray is by Smart Missile out of Distinctive, a daughter of grand race mare Special who counted a record-breaking Lightning Stakes among her Group One wins.

She ran 55.5 seconds in 1988, a time which stood until Black Caviar won the race for the third time in 2013 in 55.42.

Skyray’s six starts have produced three second placings, the most recent two at his past two starts.

“He’s a nice little horse and has had excuses at his two runs back in which have both been good even though he did a few little things wrong,” Conners said.

“He had a great pedigree being related to Special and Bomber Bill. It’s a terrific family.

“I’m not that happy with the track rating or the barrier but I haven’t been able to get a jockey I want for Saturday so he’ll most likely run at Canterbury.”

In contrast, elder stablemate He Is Given gets his chance to win his first race for more thana year when he runs in Wednesday’s Benchmark 75 (1550m).

“He’s different from Skyray, he loves the wet,” Conners said.

“The wetter the better for him.”

Both will be ridden by Jason Collett who is comfortably in sixth position on the Sydney premiership standings with eight meetings left this season to improve on his 55-1/2 wins.

Brenton Avdulla has a healthy 15-win lead over Blake Shinn who is on 71, one more than Tye Angland.

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