By Ray Hickson
Trainer Jean Dubois finds Albury Cup winner Green Sweet a tricky horse to work out.
The imported stayer fooled Dubois in the lead up to his Australian debut earlier this year with his refusal to go past horses in trackwork and the six-year-old has been at it again in the lead up to his belated return at Rosehill on Saturday.
“He looks the same (as going into his last first-up run) but when I raced him the first time I felt he wasn't fit enough because he was only training okay, just following the one you put next to him but not going in front,’’ Dubois said.
“It's hard to know with these older horses exactly where you are. He is so quiet in training, almost lazy, so that's the concern.
“He's fit enough to run and he has to run for us to know more.’’
Green Sweet's Australian debut at Rosehill – March 11
Green Sweet was beaten narrowly by Hogmanay at his first local start, a 1900m BM83 at Rosehill on March 11 with Andrew Adkins riding.
He then won the Listed Albury Cup (2000m) before being heavily backed but finishing only eighth in the Group 3 JRA Plate at Randwick in April.
Dubois said a small setback after he trialled on September 22 put Green Sweet back a month but isn’t too concerned as the Listed $125,000 ATC Cup (2000m) kicks off a string of staying races over the next two months.
“It's a good summer for the stayers at his level and if he is in good condition we have three or four races,’’ he said.
“He had a jump out at Goulburn on Tuesday over 800m, it was too quick for him but he looks good.’’
The Listed $125,000 Christmas Cup (2400m) on December 16 is likely to be Green Sweet’s second-up run, there’s also the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) and Listed Gosford Gold Cup (2100m) on the horizon.
Adkins is back on Green Sweet at Rosehill and he has been kept safe by TAB at $8, on the fourth line of betting behind $2.25 favourite Savapinski.
Dubois said the French stayer was a rare find as he wasn’t too expensive to buy and has already paid for himself.
“It's hard to pick the right ones, last week I tried to buy another one at Deauville but you have to pay 250,000 Euro (about AUD$390,000),’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Dubois said ex-Godolphin mare Ladder will resume in the MBA Hunter Division Class 2 (1400m) at Newcastle on Sunday having been served by Air Force Blue some 11 days ago.
The four-year-old, who has had two starts for a win and a second, was scratched from the Hawkesbury ATC meeting on November 15. It’s not yet known whether she is in foal.