Paddock beckons for promising Prayer

WAGGA trainer Dave Heywood expects promising sprinter Living On A Prayer to be “very competitive” despite a big weight at Murrumbidgee Turf Club today.
Nanjing Night Net

Living On A Prayer is one of the Southern District’s smartest sprinting prospects with three wins and four placings to his name from seven race starts.

The four-year-old, a full-brother to Wagga 1000m track record holder Inside Fifty, has shown great ability at his seven starts and Heywood believes the best in still in front of the gelding.

Living On A Prayer has the top weight of 60.5 kilograms for today’s Jaegers Event Hire Benchmark 60 Handicap (1000m) and Heywood hopes that does not hold his horse back too much.

“I’m happy with him but he does have plenty of weight,” Heywood said yesterday.

“The good thing is that it’s over 1000m and the big weight probably won’t worry him as much as it would if it was over 1200 or 1400 metres.

“I’ve got to run him. We were going to Canberra last week and he had a little mishap but he’s right now and needs a run.”

Two of Living On A Prayer’s three wins have come over 1000m, and they have been arguably his most impressive victories.

Heywood is unsure whether the 1000m is the horse’s best trip, but certainly believes it will be no disadvantage today.

“I don’t know, I wanted to try and get him up to 1200, 1300 metres this time in but things just haven’t worked out like we planned,” Heywood said.

“We tried him with the blinkers for a few starts but we’ve took them off and put the winkers on because he wanted to go too strong.

“It’s a pretty even race but I’m sure he’ll turn up and be very competitive.”

Heywood found it hard to pick out the main danger in the even field but named Berrigan sprinter Saint Esprit as one who will be tough to beat at his best.

Living On A Prayer has the benefit of barrier four for Victorian jockey Ernie Marchant.

Heywood revealed Living On A Prayer would most likely head to the spelling paddock after today’s run, regardless of the result.

“He’s nearly ready for the paddock,” Heywood said.

“We want to have him ready for Cup time so we’ll run the horse (today) and see how he goes. That may be it for him this time in.”

Living On A Prayer is owned by a big group of Riverina owners, headed by syndicate manager, Ganmain’s Haydyn Milne.

Heywood only has two horses in work and both will race today.

Saloo is Heywood’s other runner in the Riverina Bookkeeping Class Two Plate (1200m), one of two horses in the race for owners David and Jill Middleton.

Both horses kicked off their careers at the same time and the pair have drawn the outside two gates today.

Saloo suggested he may have returned to top form with a good second placing last week at Gundagai and Heywood is happy with the horse.

“He’s going a lot better than last time,” Heywood said.

“We found out there was a reason he mightn’t have wanted to go too quick last time and he’s come back beautiful.”

PRAYER TIME: Living On A Prayer (yellow) gets home to run second behind Full Hand on Wagga Gold Cup day earlier this year. Living On A Prayer will look to keep his super record in tact when he races at Murrumbidgee Turf Club today. Picture: Les Smith

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.