It’s a race that has only recently been introduced to the Sydney Saturday ranks, but Wyong-based trainer Kristen Buchanan has already won two Midway handicaps and lines up another strong candidate in this weekend’s edition with Pandora Blue.
The promising four-year-old mare is building up a handy strike rate with three wins from just five outings, and comes into this on the back of a dominant Port Macquarie victory when leading from pillar to post.
The Hallowed Crown mare is a half-sister to Buchanan’s former top liner Two Blue, who was winner of the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes and of almost $700,000 in earnings.
With the prizemoney on offer being just a fraction under the usual Saturday benchmark handicap range, Buchanan sees the Midway as a great initiative that is rewarding her loyal ownership group.
“It’s fantastic, it has really given stables like ours a boost,” Buchanan said. “To go racing in town on a Saturday and compete for prizemoney like this, it just keeps everyone going, staff and owners alike.”
Another new feature of the Spring carnival is the introduction of the Four Pillars Midway event which works in a similar capacity to the Kosciuszko. Lucky slot holders negotiate and select their runners, which come from a pool of nominated horses from Midway eligible trainers.
Buchanan has a number of gallopers in line for this $700,000 event with Pandora Blue, Jazzland and Margie Bee being the most likely to get selected.
“If Pandora Blue can run well on Saturday, I see no reason why she couldn’t back up next week and give a good account of herself,” Buchanan said.
“Jazzland and Margie Bee have also been in really good form too. They are race-hardened, fit and ready to go.
Any one of those three would do their slot holders proud.”
The Four Pillars Midway is set to run at Royal Randwick on October 30.