Former jockey Cassandra Schmidt will mark a major milestone in her emerging training career when she saddles-up her first metropolitan runner at Canterbury on Friday night.
Schmidt has got off to a flying start as a trainer, currently credited with a 16 per cent winning strike rate which jumps to almost 50 per cent when placings are added.
One of Schmidt’s winners is Leave Me Some who walked into the trainer’s Port Macquarie digs and straight into the winners’ stall in the space of a few days during November.
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So impressive was the stable recruit that Schmidt has tagged the daughter of Time Thief for what will be the mare’s fifth visit to Canterbury.
“She is a hard horse to place because she is a very high-rating horse in the bush,” Schmidt explained.
“She is a 91 rater in the bush and is probably a length or two off being a genuine Sydney horse every day of the week but I think if she can get the right run in the right race, she can perform really well.”
Given Schmidt’s strike rate, the placement of her small string is paramount which is why she deliberated long and hard over which of the two races Leave Me Some would contest on Friday night.
She settled on the ATC Racing And Sports Handicap over 1250m.
“We like the barrier better in the other race but we just thought there were a couple in there we didn’t think we could beat,” Schmidt said.
“So, we elected to go with the fillies and mares where she is in against her own sex. I know she has got to carry the big weight but she is an eight-time winner and a lot of the horses in the race have only won one or two races.
“I know they could be up and coming horses but our mare has put eight on the board.”
Leave Me Some made light work of her 60kg when she won at Port Macquarie 15-days ago and will carry one kilo less this time courtesy of Dylan Gibbons’ claim.
Gibbons has mastered the art of riding at Canterbury evidenced by a massive 26.3 per cent winning strike rate at the venue.
As a jockey, Schmidt retired with 260 winners and 532 placings on her show reel but is relishing life as a trainer despite all the added pressures and constraints.
“When I rode, you came in, ride the horse, you got off and that was it,” she said.
“But being a trainer, you are constantly thinking ‘have I done enough to get it ready’.
“I know as a rider that you have got to keep the owners and trainers happy but there is a lot more pressure on you when you’re training.
“And training is seven days a week, we do it all ourselves, me and my partner (Luke Rolls), so we don’t get a day off.
“But even with all that, I am really loving training,” Schmidt said.
CASINO READY TO TRUMP HIS RIVALS AT MUSWELLBROOK
Trainer Cody Morgan is hoping his barnstorming gelding Casino Lord can score his first ‘away win’ when he heads to Muswellbrook for the TAB Rusty Spanner Sprint (1000m) at Muswellbrook on Friday.
Casino Lord posted his fourth career win in trademark style last start when sailing down the outside to collect the Open Handicap on the Tamworth card.
“When everything goes his way, no horse in the stable has got a better turn of foot,” Morgan said.
“He is a specialist 1000 metre horse but this looks a really strong race so he will need to be at his best.”
Casino Lord will also have to do something he hasn’t yet been able to and that is to win away from Tamworth.
Morgan, for his part, has done everything in his power to ensure that happens on Friday, lightening the gelding’s load by one and a half kilos thanks to Jasper Franklin’s claim.
“He is not a very big horse so I like him to be down in the weights and he doesn’t go any quicker when you hit him, he is a real trier so he has always suited the apprentices.”
In fact, Casino Lord has been ridden by various apprentices at 10 of his 16 starts.
Casino Lord’s October 10 win rules him ineligible for any more TAB Highways but Morgan has options open to the horse closer to home.
“There are enough 1000 metre races for him over the summer,” Morgan said.
“We normally space his runs a bit, one of the races we are looking at is the Lightning Stakes at Inverell on Cup Day, January 1.”
While Casino Lord will have his first look at Muswellbrook on Friday, the venue is bordering on a happy hunting ground for stablemate Aytobe who has raced there three times for a win and two placings.
“Aytobe was very good in the Highway last start and was strong through the line,” Morgan said.
“The good draw will help him. He looks really well at the moment and I expect him to run well.”
Originally published as Canterbury, Muswellbrook previews: Cassandra Schmidt to continue the hot start to her training career