Essonne hoping Kembla run erases Canterbury woes

Talented Warwick Farm mare Essonne can give new meaning to the adage of “highs and lows” of racing by winning at Thursday’s feature Kembla Grange meeting.

Two Fridays back under lights at Canterbury, second favourite Essonne lost her jockey Chad Schofield in the first 100m of a Benchmark 72 race for the mares.

Trainer Richard Litt is hoping Essonne can perform at Kembla Grange on Thursday.Credit:Getty

Schofield told stewards after the race the horse started buck-jumping not long after the release, before shifting out abruptly and dislodging him from the saddle.

But with no lasting damage done, trainer Richard Litt was required to send the mare back for a trial where she came through with a clean bill of health.

Normal service has seemingly resumed, and Essonne ($9.00 in early markets) has set her sights on qualifying for the big Class 5 Provincial Midway Championship Final at Randwick on April 8 when she tackles the feature Qualifier over 1400m.

Certainly, connections will be sweating on this sprinter getting straight back into the groove in what is her biggest test so far across a big field and wide betting market.

A strong finishing daughter of Irish-bred Reliable Man who won the group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in 2013, Essonne should get conditions to suit after plenty of rain in the previous 36 hours.

She has already built an imposing 50 per cent strike rate from only eight starts, with all four wins coming on soft ground.

And getting serious weight relief for this non-claiming race at set weights, Essonne looks terrific value in a race of many chances.

Bidding for wide favouritism, big finishing five-year-old Spangler is on target to back up in 10 days after rattling home to just miss in the Ballina Cup.

Tough five-year-old front-runner Byron, progressive four-year-old So Good So Cool second-up, and lightly raced five-year-old Phearson resuming for his first run since spring are all likely to attract betting support.

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