Co-trainer Keith Dryden hopes the weights being carried by his three runners at Moruya on Tuesday don’t affect their winning prospects. Dryden and training partner Scott Collings have four horses entered, but will only start Bordeaux Bandit, Ziganui and Balonne.
Dryden is the first to agree Ziganui has been struggling to find winning form and with 61 kilograms in the Open Handicap it doesn’t get any easier.
“He has been carrying big weights most of the time since being placed in a heat and final of the Provincial Championships,” Dryden said.
The five-year-old hasn’t troubled the placegetters in three starts this preparation with similar weights to what he will carry on Tuesday: “I just hope he can find a bit of form even though he still has a big weight,” Dryden said.
In the small field of seven, Ariko Gold could be the one even though she hasn’t won in six first-up attempts. She is a course specialist and has been placed three times fresh.
Meanwhile, Balonne – a winner of two of his past three starts at Canberra – is capable of hitting back after a last start failure. Balonne has 62.5kg but after the claim for Jess Philpot, will carry two kilograms less.
“He has been working pretty well and I expect him to bounce back,” Dryden said. “He s a fairly handy horse and from the good draw he should go well.”
Bordeaux Bandit has only won one of his 21 starts but on some of his recent runs at Canberra could break through after a long run of outs. The gelding’s only victory came at Goulburn over 1500 metres in August.
Dryden remains hopeful more than confident: “It’s a suitable race and it’s probably not as strong a field as he has been meeting,” Dryden said.