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Sydney debut looms for Art Attack

Jenny Graham makes a rare excursion to Sydney from Port Macquarie for the Rosehill meeting, a trip the trainer hopes to make on a more regular basis over winter.

Art Attack, and probably I Wanna Be A Jeep, are along for this ride on Saturday while the pick of her 13-strong team, Portatorio, is scheduled for his city debut at Randwick a week later.

“It doesn’t happen often,” Graham said.

Art Attack tackles the TAB Highway Plate (1500m) with his stablemate scheduled to run in the same race unless showers downgrade the track significantly.

Portatorio is the best credentialed and would have also had a metropolitan start had the gelding not been slowed by an infected fetlock which initiated a long spell last June.

He is now four races into his latest preparation and is tracking well for a Highway race at Randwick after back-to-back second placings at Taree and Port Macquarie.

“I always thought he’d be in town but we’ve had setback after setback,” Graham said.

“We didn’t know whether he was going to make it actually.”

Graham said Art Attack was in the midst of an impressive preparation although he is one of the outsiders on Saturday despite racking up a win and three seconds in his past four starts.

“This is probably been his best prep,” Graham said.

“He was very immature. There wasn’t a lot of strength about him but since he’s strengthened up a little he’s been racing very consistently.

“Whether he’s up to this class, I don’t really know …. he has been hitting the line hard.”

She was also encouraged by I Wanna Be A Jeep, despite the three-year-old’s dislike of wet conditions.

“He’s been racing well in not bad company and we thought we’d give it a try while he’s up and going, unless it’s wet,” she said.

“I was really happy with his last win (at Kempsey on May 7), he finished it off really well. I think the 1500 (metres) will suit.”

The 14-strong Highway field is headed by the Matthew Dale-trained Hay Now ($3.80).

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