Horse Racing

Wyong races: Trainer Kristen Buchanan has high hopes for a filly on debut

Every so often a trainer heads to the races with a horse they think might be their next great thing and that day is today for Kristen Buchanan.

Buchanan will debut Eyewitness in the opening race at her home track of Wyong, and her Star Witness filly told her she was ready to start racing after a lovely 800m barrier trail earlier this month.

“She’s a very nice filly and what she’s doing at the moment is on raw ability. She’s all legs at the moment and is still lightly framed,” Buchanan said.

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Kristen Buchanan is hoping to lead in a winner two on her home track of Wyong on Wednesday. PictureSource:News Regional Media

“I look at her and think she’s still six months away but I can’t fault her on her trials and she’s done nothing wrong.

“My only reservation is that she’s done it so easily in her trials and hasn’t experienced the bump and grind of a race.

“Race pressure is different. I’m probably being too conservative but my gut feel is that she’ll be just fine because she’s got a lot of ability.”

Koby Jennings, who trialled Eyewitness, will ride her out of barrier two in the 1000m dash and Buchanan thinks her horse will be looking like the winner at the home turn.

The punters have the same amount, if not more, confidence in Eyewitness and will likely send her out as favourite despite being the only debutant in the race.

“I think, coming in the home straight, she should be very handy and maybe even leading. She puts herself there and doesn’t know how to take a sit at the moment,” she said.

“The small field helps. I’d rather that than a field of 14. It makes my more confident.

“I don’t think she’ll do things wrong. She hasn’t really been in behind horses but she’s given me no indication in track work that she’s hesitant about other horses.”

Buchanan is also excited to bring Margie Bee back to her home track where she’s won twice from three attempts.

Trainer Kristen Buchanan and jockey Koby Jennings (pictured) combine with three runners at Wyong on Wednesday. Picture: News Corp AustraliaSource:News Regional Media

The five-year-old mare runs in a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m) after fading when out in front last start in town.

Jennings will also ride her and from barrier four she’ll get every chance.

“She races well at home and she tries hard every time she races,” Buchanan said.

“I’ve put a bit of gear on her just to try and cool her jets a bit this time. She’s been overdoing it slightly in some good races. She genuine and is in the right grade of race.”

Upper East Side is Buchanan’s other runner at Wyong and he’s an interesting running in the sixth race over 1000m. He’s placed once from three first-up runs and although all five wins have come at 1000m, Buchanan thinks it will be over further where he’ll be most successful.

“I think the 1000m fresh will be perfect for him in what’s quite a strong race,” she said.

“It’s pretty much midweek level and there should be enough speed in it to help him cart along in behind them and go ping.

“He’s given me the feeling that he’s grown up a lot this time in.”


Trainer Brett Lazzarini has plenty of confidence in Wild Chap ahead of Wednesday’s final race at Wyong.

His four-year-old hasn’t been seen at the track for a month after running fifth on the Kensington track at Randwick when Enchanted Heart ran past him.

“He is a very good chance. It will take a good horse to beat him,” Lazzarini said.

“We space his runs out. He’s the type of horse that doesn’t cope with a lot of racing. He’s a lightly framed horse, but he has done exceptionally well since his last start.

“He pulled up better than what he usually does. He’s licked the bottom on the feed bin. I will spell him after this race though, win, lose or draw, and we’ll stick to that.”

Three runs ago, Wild Chap won at Wyong when leading all-the-way and from barrier five Louise Day should be able to have him right on the speed, perhaps leading into the short Wyong straight.

Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente (pictured) is the sire of the Brett Lazzarini-trained Fiorzana who resumes at Wyong on Wednesday. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:News Corp Australia

“He does suit Wyong. He’s coming back in distance which I decided to do after he went so hard in front last start and this is an easier race, that’s for sure,” Lazzarini said.

“It was a Saturday standard race last start and I think he’ll end up being a Saturday metropolitan-class horse because his sectionals are amazing. He’s just immature. He’s a four-year-old but it’s like dealing with a late two-year-old, he’s a funny type of horse.”

Lazzarini also runs Fiorzana first-up up in the third race over 1100m but she’s by Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente and will eventually like the trips he loved.

“She wants 2000 metres and more. That’s when she’ll get hot,” Lazzarini said.

“She trialled quite well even though she ran sixth of six. The hose that won it (Prince Aurelius) is a horse I ride for a mate of mine and it’s very good.

“She’s bred to run two miles. She doesn’t break the stop watch but she can do it all day.”


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Originally published asWyong preview: Eyewitness to make a statement

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