Gosford trainer Kylie Gavenlock expects Randiki to be hard to beat when he returns to Taree on Tuesday, provided the eight-year-old focuses his busy mind on the task ahead.
Randiki was an impressive winner at his most recent appearance at Taree three starts back on August 18 and his subsequent efforts since returning from a spell suggest he should be right in the finish again in Tuesday's Winning Post Function Centre Hcp (1312m).
"If he's got his mind on the job, he'll be hard to beat," said Gavenlock. "The trouble with him is he's the smartest horse I've ever come across. He thinks too much. We can't get him on the grass tracks to work because he figured out early on that's where he has to do his fast work.
"We have to lead him to the barriers on racedays and he just drops out at the back when they jump and does his own thing."
But 'deep thinker' or not, Randiki has been a handy performer for Gavenlock throughout his career. On Tuesday he is chasing the eighth win of a 45-start career (with 15 minor placings) and success would nudge his prizemoney earnings close to the $200,000 mark. And Gavenlock has been rapt in his recent efforts over the past few months either side of a spell.
At the end of his last preparation he won a Benchmark 70 Hcp (1400m) at Scone on July 14 then ran third to Anecdote in the Bengalla Cup (1280m) at Muswellbrook. At his final run before a spell, Randiki produced a barnstormng finish to win the $32,000 Hopkins Livermore Cup (1400m) at Taree on August 18.
Randiki kicked off his current campaign with another impressive effort, charging late to finish second to Star Reflection in the $40,000 Wayne Harris Hcp (1280m) at Muswellbrook on December 8. By necessity, Gavenlock then threw him in the deep end against some class sprinters at his most recent outing when he finished last of nine (beaten just under six lengths) behind Calanda in the $151,000 Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) at Gosford on January 11.
"His first-up run at Muswellbrook was terrific," she said. "They had him an $18 chance - I don't know why. They must have thought he'd lost a leg while he'd been out spelling.
"I really had to run him in the Takeover Target as there just aren't enough suitable races programmed for country sprinters like him. He's simply not up to city class, so we had a throw at the stumps in the Takeover Target. He ran as well as he could against that level of sprinter. He's going really well and as long as he gets a decent speed up front should be hard to beat at Taree."
Andrew Gibbons rides Randiki in Tuesday's race which attracted a field of 11, including the locally-trained trio of Fuel, Clune's Rocket and Lippy And Pears, along with Hippy High Ho, trained at Port Macquarie by Neil Godbolt, and All Summer Long who is lining up for his fourth run since joining the Newcastle stable of Kris Lees.
All Summer Long, runner-up to Southern Flight at his one previous run at Taree on December 24, will be ridden by Aaron Bullock who has ridden seven winners over the past three recent Taree meetings and looks set for another good afternoon on Tuesday.
Bullock landed a double at the last Taree meeting on January 15, booting home the Kris Lees-trained duo Furore ($1.90 fav) and Bocy ($1.65 fav). He also landed a treble at the Taree meeting on January 4, aboard Jack's Bar for Lees, Zigamore for Jason Deamer and Kopite for the Adam Duggan stable. And at Taree on December 24 he landed another double on the Lees-trained Chalmers ($2.80) and the Tracey Bartley-trained Great Job ($3.10).
Besides All Summer Long, Bullock's other rides on Tuesday's eight-race program are the Jason Deamer-trained first-starter Cosmic Charge (C&G Maiden Plate) and three other winning hopes for Lees - Prontissimo (F&M Maiden Plate), Sunday Special (Maiden Hcp) and Jack's Bar (Benchmark 55).