Mick Kent close to personal record

Jul 22, 2013

by Brad Bishop, Racing Victoria...Mick Kent is just two city winners off his career-best tally since returning from Asia

The Jazz Singer heads a team heading to Sportingbet Park (Sandown) on Wednesday that can edge Mick Kent closer to – or even beyond – a significant number in the next week.

With just three meetings of the 2012/13 season remaining, Kent needs just two winners to match the most city winners he has trained in a season in the second phase of his Victorian training career.

Since returning to Victoria in 2004, after almost a decade training in Asia, Kent’s best season on the city circuit was 2009/10 when he prepared 36 winners.

Danish Whiskey’s win in the final race at Flemington on Saturday was his 34th of the season and is justification of a tough decision he made at the start of the season.

“I let a lot of horses go (this season),” Kent said. “I got our numbers down and have been a bit more selective.

“I’m not racing every day and spending more time at the stables, which has been good.

“It’s been a good season, but it’s also been a frustrating season. We’ve had a lot of seconds that should have been firsts.”

Kent’s 2012/13 winners have come from 201 starters at a strike rate of 16.91%, which is the best of any trainer in the top 15 in the Melbourne premiership. Kent is in seventh spot on that table, but just four winners off third-placed Peter Snowden. Peter Moody leads the way on 68.

Kent’s season figures are almost identical to his numbers in 2009/10, when he ended the season in eighth spot after preparing 36 winners from 215 starts at 16.74%.

The Cranbourne trainer has five chances to add to his city winners’ tally at Sportingbet Park (Sandown), none better than  The Jazz Singer.

The Singspiel five-year-old, who is yet to finish further back than second in five starts, made it three wins in a row with an impressive win at Mornington on 7 July at what was his first start in almost 12 months.

Kent was thrilled with the effort and while he considers the $35,000 There’s No Better Bet Than A Sportingbet Handicap (1800m) a stronger-than-usual midweek 0-78 event, he is impressed with The Jazz Singer’s ability.

“He’ll certainly like the (soft) ground,” Kent said. “He is only second up off a long, long break and it’s not a bad race, it’s a lot better than your normal midweek race, but he still looks well-placed in it.”

The Jazz Singer’s race is the final event on Wednesday’s card with stablemate Handsome Knight to go around in the $35,000 Sportingbet.com.au Handicap (1000m) that kicks off the meeting at 12.10pm.

Palio Princess and Balytska go around in races two and three respectively, while Countcool rounds out Ken’t representation in the penultimate event.