By Ray Hickson
The chance of favourable track conditions has trainer Gerald Ryan quietly confident talented three-year-old Albumin can continue his resurgence at Rosehill on Saturday.
Ryan said the striking grey would take his place in the Half Yearly Membership Sprint (1100m) if the track is rated Soft 6 or better and Rosehill was rated exactly that two days out from the meeting with potential for further improvement.
Albumin failed in his only two attempts on wet ground – heavy 9 and soft 7 – both in stakes company and that’s why Ryan is keen to keep him on firmer footing.
The gelding was the $3.60 favourite on Thursday on the back of a dominant win over the same course a month ago, his first start in blinkers, and Ryan said he hasn’t gone backwards.
“It’s a bit harder than what he’s been up against but he’s drawn well and has no weight on his back,’’ he said.
“He’s fit and well and his form at 1100m is really good.’’
Albumin has an unblemished record over the Rosehill 1100m and is yet to miss a place in five starts at the trip.
Albumin bursts back to form with an easy win at Rosehill on May 19
In that latest win Punters Intel revealed Albumin ran a slick 33 seconds for his last 600m and put the race away with a 10.90 from the 400m-200m and an 11.07 for the last 200m.
Ryan puts Albumin’s form reversal down to two major factors – “a combination of blinkers on and training him like a sprinter rather than trying to make him run 1400m’’.
While he seems to have worked Albumin out, Ryan said the jury is out on stablemate Tango Rain ($17) who hasn’t lived up to expectation in three starts since being gelded.
That said, Ryan is prepared to make an excuse for his midfield finish at Doomben on that controversial Oaks program delayed due to concerns over the track.
“First-up at Hawkesbury they went too hard in front then at his first run at Doomben he was unlucky and couldn’t get a track at them,’’ he said.
“The other day it was a shifty track, he has wet track form but that track was shifty.’’
Ryan’s comments on Harper’s Choice ($4.60, Kensei Handicap 2000m): “In the spring he might have not been over his tough autumn. He had a good spell and his two runs over short journeys were pleasing. When he stepped up to 1800m he went really well.
“The sting off the track doesn’t worry him.’’
And Curdled ($17, Ascot Restaurant Handicap 1200m): “I think he’s a bit of a grinder so going to 1400m off a good barrier we’ll see where we sit with him after Saturday.’’
Meanwhile, star colts Trapeze Artist and Menari haven’t yet stepped up their preparations for the spring and will continue trot and canter work for a couple more weeks.
While Trapeze Artist’s path leads directly to The Everest, Ryan is likely to kick off Menari’s four-year-old campaign in a benchmark race prior to having his own Everest audition in The Shorts, the race won by Redzel last year.
“I’d like to get Menari back to the races winning and worry about everything else later on,’’ he said.