Ever So Natural has a tough act to follow

SYDNEY May 16 2018

Still on a high after training three winners over the Scone Cup carnival, Tracey Bartley admits he has his work cut out to preserve an impressive winning strike rate.

The handicapper has come into play for the small-scale Wyong trainer who has Ever So Natural representing the stable at Rosehill on Saturday.

A six-year-old gelding, Ever So Natural has been lifted two rating points after finishing second to Revenire by 1-1/4 lengths in the TAB Rewards Handicap at Warwick Farm on May 9.

The imposition did not impress Bartley who has his maximum of 14 in work while also pre-training for Kim Waugh.

While he is still coming to terms with the exploits of Bare Naked Lady, In Good Time and To Excess at Scone, Ever So Natural did offer a reality check when he copped 62kg for the John Size Hall Of Fame Handicap (1100m).

"They've given him another couple of points and I'm not happy about that. I think they deserve a penalty when they win, not when they run second," he said.

"You want them getting through that grade and out of that to let the let horse come through. That's progressive racing, you want to get the best ones through to the best company."

Bartley will claim 2kg through apprentice Lee Magorrian to lessen the load for a horse he took over training from Cliff Bashford last winter.

"I rode winners for Cliff many years ago and his daughter asked me to take him," he said.

The natural backmarker, who has had six wins and 11 placings from 30 starts, will head for a let-up after the race to prepare for the Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton on July 11.

Bartley has placed his team effectively this season given he has a winning strike rate of 25.93 per cent from 81 runners.

He had the same number of runners for the duration of last season and so far this term he has 21 winners compared to seven for the entirety of 2016-17.

"We're doing a good job with the little team we've got and I've just got better-class horses this time," Bartley said.

"A lot of young horses have put their hand up."



Chris Barclay - AAP

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