Weighty problem puts sprinter out of Hannans calculations

Zach RelphKalgoorlie Miner
Just Act Natural, pictured with Kate Witten in the saddle, is unlikely to contest the Listed Hannans Handicap (1400m).
Camera IconJust Act Natural, pictured with Kate Witten in the saddle, is unlikely to contest the Listed Hannans Handicap (1400m). Credit: Simon Merritt/Western Racepix

Paul Roberts says boom sprinter Just Act Natural is now “highly unlikely” to contest this year’s Listed Hannans Handicap (1400m), after initially targeting the gelding for the Kalgoorlie feature.

Just Act Natural, who is trained at Roberts’ Capel stable, was earmarked to tackle the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Racing Club’s premier sprint on September 20.

However, Roberts told the Kalgoorlie Miner he was reconsidering the journey to the Goldfields because he feared the five-year-old would be slugged with the 59kg top weight.

The veteran trainer said Just Act Natural would likely be spelled following the Listed Farnley Stakes (1400m) at Belmont on September 9 before returning to the track later this year.

“I don’t think we will be going to Kalgoorlie because it means we will be getting too much weight,” Roberts said.

“It is unfortunate because it would have been a bloody good race for him.

“At this stage I’ll say we definitely will not (be entering the Hannans).

“We will probably just go to the Farnley in two weeks time, then we will most likely give him a break and head towards the summer carnival.

“We haven’t 100 per cent cancelled the Hannans out, but it’s highly unlikely.”

Just Act Natural strode to a dominant win when he resumed at Belmont Park on August 5 and finished a hard-fought second to It’s It in the Idyllic Prince Stakes (1300m) on Saturday.

The Sharon Miller-trained It’s It, piloted by Randy Tan, overcame Just Act Natural by a nose in a dramatic finish.

Roberts said the run proved Just Act Natural would be suited to a 1400m assignment, although he had not run the distance in 16 career starts.

“He relaxed really well on Saturday and fought on like a beauty,” he said. “I think the 1400m would suit him better because they go a bit easier and he would be able to roll along easily.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails