By Ray Hickson
Class can carry a horse a long way and that’s what trainer Adrian Bott is banking on when Supply And Demand makes a surprise return at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
That class has been respected by TAB Fixed Odds which has the five-year-old a $3.60 favourite for the December Handicap (1400m).
And that’s despite Supply And Demand officially finishing 49.75 lengths from the winner Great Shot in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) in Perth on November 25 where the stewards report noted he pulled up lame in the near fore after a three wide run.
Bott said Supply And Demand returned from the west in good order and didn’t require a break.
“There was nothing physically wrong with the horse so no need to give him a spell,’’ he said.
“He had a tough run in transit and once Josh (Parr) felt he was out of contention he didn't knock the horse about.
“He is a horse that does well in training and that was only his third start for the prep. If he told us that he needed the time we'd have been happy to throw him in the paddock.’’
Supply And Demand's first-up run over 1400m at Randwick in October
Bott said Supply And Demand felt the hard track at Ascot, which would explain the stewards report, and it was decided not to push on with the original preparation.
But that leaves the multiple stakes winning middle distance performer, despite his versatility, in No Man’s Land tackling distances short of his best with big weights.
“We've freshened him up in between with the drop back to 1400m and that would be the only slight concern at this point of the preparation,’’ Bott said.
“He has to give them a bit of weight but he's proven he can carry it. He looks well and has worked well.’’
Prior to his trip to Perth, Supply And Demand was runner-up in two 1400m races – the first to stablemate Cabeza De Vaca at Randwick then to Hellova Street at Group 3 level at Flemington.
Bott said while the gelding may seem out of place in an open handicap in December he can easily have a six week break and mark time until his next run.
“Before you know it the carnival is on us so if there isn't much around after this race we can keep him ticking over in the stable and trial in between,’’ he said.
The Waterhouse/Bott stable’s Everest runner English has been back in work for a couple of weeks – joined recently by Victoria Oaks winner Pinot – and there’ll be no surprises with her autumn preparation.
Bott said English will follow the same pattern as she has done for the last two autumn carnivals aiming at the Group 1 $2.5m TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on April 7 third-up.
“She hasn't commenced any serious work yet but she looks fantastic,’’ he said.
“We'll stick with our usual pattern with her and that leaves the door open for the All Aged as a fourth run.’’