Always Arjay Thriving After Injury
Serpentine trainer Matt Scott made a wise decision to lease New South Wales-bred pacer Always Arjay two years ago and he is delighted at the excellent form shown by the six-year-old since recovering from a tendon injury which kept him out of action for 14 months.
Always Arjay damaged his nearside tendon in April 2016 and since he resumed racing in June this year he has had ten starts for five wins.
He will start from barrier three on the front line in a 2503m stand, the $18,000 Win Boost Now On TABtouch Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night, and should take a power of beating.
“Always Arjay’s work last Saturday was first-class and I expect him to go well on Friday,” Scott said. “His last-start fourth (behind stablemate Bartowski) was very good. He came off 30 metres and made his run down the back straight when he was pushed four and five wide around the final two bends. He had won at five of his previous six starts.”
Always Arjay will again be driven by Shannon Suvaljko, who said: “If he finds the front, he’ll be hard to beat.”
Looming as the major danger to Always Arjay is the Skye Bond trained Bettor Not Bitter, whose past six starts have produced four wins and two seconds. Bettor Not Bitter was an odds-on fancy when he worked hard in the breeze all the way when a fighting second to the pacemaker Arising Easton in a 2503m stand at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. He won in good style at Gloucester Park and Pinjarra at his two previous outings.
Bettor Not Bitter will start from the inside barrier on the front line with Ryan Warwick in the sulky. If he leads he will prove very hard to beat.
Scott said that he was hopeful that Bartowski, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr from barrier four on the front line, would reveal his normal brilliance from a stand and burst past Bettor Not Bitter and into the lead.
“I expect Bartowski to cross to the early lead and then take a sit on Always Arjay,” Scott said. “Bartowski led early and then took the sit in a race last week --- and he ran home strongly to win.”
Scott races Always Arjay on lease from John Gullace and Cathy Cousins and the gelding’s 24 starts for him have produced eight wins and seven placings.
“When I leased Brookies Jet from John and Cathy a couple of years ago they told me that they had a few horses in Melbourne with Andy Gath, including Always Arjay, who was being set for the Victoria Derby, but got sick.
“So I leased Always Arjay along with Qtown Rip Roaring and C C Chevron.”
Qtown Rip Roaring has had 62 starts for Scott for seven wins and 11 placings and C C Chevron’s 67 starts for Scott have produced six wins and 18 placings.
Co-backmarkers off 20m are Billies A Star and Ohoka Kentucky and they appear the chief rivals for Always Arjay and Bettor Not Bitter.