Scone trainer Mark Schmetzer is banking on picking up where he left off at the first meeting of the new season at his home track today.
The likeable and widely travelled horseman ended the 2020/21 season with a win in the final race at Muswellbrook on Saturday with resuming five-year-old sprinter Invincible Ninja, which led all the way in a strong class 1 over 1000m.
Earlier, he nearly pulled off a major shock when ex-Victorian five-year-old I Am A Hit was beaten under a length into third at $31.00 in a benchmark 58 handicap over 1280m.
Schmetzer’ is set to hit the ground running back at home with two gelded sprinters who still have their best in front of them.
I Am Invincible four-year-old Machinaw dashed away at Moree and looked home for all money in his first run for the stable but was gunned down in the last stride.
That was Mackinaw’s third start and first run since early February after being transferred to Schmetzer from the John O’Shea yard at Randwick.
He returns home today with the blinkers added and stays at the 900m journey, although this is a tougher maiden against four-year-old Squeeak, talented provincial filly Don’t Doubt Katie, and tough mare Minniti if she runs here.
In the final race, Schmetzer saddles up lightly raced six-year-old Deploys Alone fourth up in a competitive benchmark 58 handicap over 1100m hoping to bounce back from a flat run at Moree.
The son of Sepoy had previously finished under three lengths in a Highway at Rosehill behind highly-rated Hellenism.