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Garner to target Wylie Handicap

Gordon Richards will target the $100,000 Listed W H Wylie Handicap (1100m) at Morphettville on September 19 with exciting four-year-old sprinter Garner.

Richards will now split Garner and stablemate Bold Star after they both produced slashing runs at their return to racing in The Heath at Caulfield last weekend.

Jason Holder will ride Garner, who was strong through the line at Caulfield after a far-from-ideal run.

“Dwayne (Dunn) said he wanted to play up a little bit in the gates,” Richards said.

“He gave him a dig early and he was handy, but then the place slackened. He was following the wrong horse but he was good enough to pick himself up and still finish the race off like he did.”

Bold Star produced the fastest last 800m, 600m and 400m of the day when he was beaten a half-length behind Diamond Effort and Richards said he would head to Flemington for the $200,000 Group 2 Bobby Lewis Quality (1200m) next weekend.

“Craig (Williams) is keen to stick with him,” Richards said. “When I said the Bobby Lewis, he agreed that was the race he should head to next.”

Another bonus about the pair is the fact they still have plenty of improvement in front of them as they progress during the spring.

“They hadn’t done a huge amount of work in the lead-up to that,” Richards said.

“Basically, they had that hit-out with Gytrash between races and a couple of gallops, so to run as well as they did was pleasing.

“It’s the right time of the year for horses like them to be in form.”

Richards’ focus this weekend will be with star sprinter Gytrash, who makes his Sydney debut in the $160,000 Group 3 TAB Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Royal Randwick, and he said he couldn’t fault the horse.

“He bounced off the track this morning,” Richards said on Thursday.

“He’s improved every day he’s been here. He good, and he’ll want to be, meeting a horse like Nature Strip on his home turf, but I think the barrier draw has only helped his chances.

“Hopefully Nature Strip and Ball Of Muscle cut at each other up front and he can be close enough and finish over the top of them.”

Gytrash is marked a $3.50 second pick with behind dominant $1.40 favourite Nature Strip.

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