Schmetzer duo set for bold showing in Highway

The stablemates head to Randwick on Saturday with the full backing of Scone trainer Mark Schmetzer for what is sure to be a soaked Highway Handicap.

Having already experienced Saturday success with stable favourite Leo during the spring, Schmetzer is buoyant regarding the chances of his two runners heading into Saturday’s Highway and is eager to repay the strong support of his owners.

Better favoured in the market, five-year-old mare Invincible Ninja presents first-up over the 1000m and is admittedly a query after missing the jump and racing ungenerously when a distant last in a recent Scone trial.

“I don’t really know what she did (in the trial), I think the tongue tie might’ve been a little tight on her and she just resented it a little bit,” Schmetzer said.

“We will pop her out of the gates before Saturday to give her a bit of confidence again because usually she’s really fast.

“She’s been set for this race for a while. Reece (Jones) will ride her with the claim (3kgs) and she will be super hard to beat.

“Gall’s (Bloodstock) have been massive supporters of ours, they bought us Leo to burst onto the map. They deserve another Highway winner; they sink a lot of money into our stable.”

Second-up from a spell, Schmetzer is also optimistic about the chances of fellow Gall’s runner The Snooperstar but concedes the five-year-old gelding is less of a threat on a softened surface.

“I’ve been sitting on him for a while,” Schmetzer said

“Going back to the 1000m you’ll probably laugh at me, but he’s a massive chance at huge each-way odds on a good track.

“If it’s a wet track he probably won’t go around, he needs a dryish track.

“At the end of the day, we just really want to win Highways.”

With the eminent Country Championships just around the corner, Schmetzer acknowledges that this Autumn’s series isn’t a specific target this season but is keen to launch a stable assault in 2023.

“Country Championships this season we might be a little scarce, with only Air Marshal heading that way currently,” Schmetzer said.

“He’s our only hope this time around, hence I’ve scratched him a few times to make sure these last few races count.

“We will be loading up big the following year with horses like Optimo, Royal Exit and Mackinaw.”

Representing the Schmetzer stable, Country Championships hopeful Air Marshal and Highway-scratching Pocket Pistol will head north for Armidale’s Cup meeting on Sunday.

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