By Ray Hickson
It’s close to a year since Jay Ford partnered Peltzer to his debut win at Kembla Grange and the jockey is looking forward to getting a fresh look at the talented three-year-old when the pair is reunited at Rosehill on Saturday.
In the time since the colt’s first outing he developed into a genuine stakes performer with wins in the Group 2 Stan Fox and Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes plus the $1m Bondi Stakes this season but he’s not without his quirks.
One of those is his apparent preference for Randwick over Rosehill, and trainers Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou plan to have Ford ride him off the speed in the Group 3 $160,000 E Group Security Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m).
Both Kerrin McEvoy and Tim Clark have won races on Peltzer but they’ve also been beaten at Rosehill on the horse so Ford will be out to break new ground.
“From what I remember riding him at his first start the stable spoke highly of him and he won really well, obviously a bit of form came out of that race,’’ Ford said.
“He‘s continued on and risen through the grades. He’s won that $1m race and a few stakes races and competed at the top level.
“Rosehill is a bit of a bogey track for him so it’ll be interesting to see how he goes.’’
After Peltzer’s impressive first-up win in the Eskimo Prince in February he led and was a beaten favourite in the Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill.
It’s almost a month since he was beaten five lengths by Lion’s Roar in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas over the mile. Ford said he knows Peltzer, $8.50 with TAB on Thursday, has the ability and if the race pans out in his favour he can prove hard to beat.
“It is a different set up for him having a freshen back from the mile to 1200m but I know I’m getting on a quality horse who more times than not runs well,’’ he said.
“He’s a good pick up ride and I’m very happy to be on him.”
Ford warns The Gong winner Archedemus shouldn’t be written off in the Group 3 $160,000 ACY Securities Doncaster Prelude (1500m) despite being first-up from an outside alley.
The seven-year-old has performed well at his past couple of fresh attempts and after riding him in two recent trials Ford knows where his fitness levels are so doesn’t see the 15 gate as the end of the world.
“He’s the sort of horse who likes to roll forward so even though he’s drawn wide we can take our time and do our thing,’’ Ford said.
“Whether that is leading or not. Him in front is his forte but I don’t think it’s as big a hindrance for a horse like him.
“He’s been going well, both his trials have been sound.”
Archedemus, $34 with TAB, has just 50.5kg in Saturday week’s Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile and is in the mid-40s on the order of entry heading into the Prelude.
So a win would ensure he has the chance to back up if the Hawkes stable desires and Ford said he expects a good showing from the gelding.
“He showed when he won the Gong he’s certainly up to that level,’’ he said.
“He’ll roll forward, he’s an on speed horse, so hopefully he can get across from the wide gate and judging on his trials I’m sure he will acquit himself well.”
Great News wins at Gosford on March 13
Great News is the early favourite for the $500,000 Polytrack Provincial Championships Final in two weeks and while Ford won’t be in the saddle on April 17 he has the steering job again in the Cleanaway Handicap (1400m).
He partnered the Kim Waugh-trained mare, yet to finish worse than third in nine starts for five wins, to an easy win in the Gosford Qualifier (1200m) on March 13 and sees no reason why she won’t continue her outstanding form and confirm her place at the top of the market in the Provincial grand final.
“She’s a talented horse, she won really well the other day,’’ Ford said.
“She’s generally an on speed runner but given the tempo of the race the other day she sat back off them which gives another string to her bow.
“She let down really well and won with a bit of authority. She has a fantastic record and I’d expect her to go really well.”
Tommy Berry rides Great News in the Final, she’s the $3.50 favourite with TAB for that race and $5.50 for Saturday’s assignment.