By Tony Megahey
Barricade is one of the most spectacular improvers on country racetracks and his local trainer Peter Bloomfield is looking to bigger occasions after an in-depth Scone TAB meeting on Friday, and an upcoming spell.
A quick back-up from a highly impressive Gunnedah win just last week, following an unlucky Randwick Highway placing, holds no fears for Bloomfield who rides the three-year-old gelding in trackwork.
“He just thrives on racing, just a real tough, competitive little horse; the way he pulled up and Greg Ryan’s thoughts, we’ll have this, turn him out and likely come back to the city,” Bloomfield offered after trackwork.
“Greg knows him so well, said he won with so much in hand it was hardly worth going around. He goes up to 60.5 kilos after the 59.5 at Gunnedah, but he’s really strong and compact fella so it won’t worry him.”
Barricade is flying through the grades, winning three of his past four starts unextended and with a bit more luck and navigation at Randwick, it could have been a perfect recent record. Bloomfield had hoped Ryan would ride Barricade at Randwick, but he had typical full books at corresponding regional meetings.
However, the prolific Ryan will be back in the saddle in the Maurice: The Beast from the East BM 70 Handicap, 1400m race on Friday.
“He naturally gets back in his races so out to 1400m on this lovely big track is ideal. I thought he probably should have won at Randwick, gave them too much start and then it was a really big win at Gunnedah. With a bit of luck he could have won four straight.” Brett Cavanough’s eight-race winner Escebee is the main danger.
Meanwhile Scone’s renowned track and facilities have again attracted the multiple Group-winning stables of Kris Lees and Paul Perry who are represented in the majority of eight TAB races, along with the Bjorn Baker stable who has also booked Ryan on some promising trial newcomers.