By Ray Hickson
Trainer Brad Widdup can see no reason why usually consistent three-year-old Junglized can’t rebound from a last start failure at Randwick on Saturday.
To say running fourth, beaten 1.5 lengths, is a failure may be a bit harsh but he was a $4 chance that day at Rosehill on December 2 and he’s second favourite with TAB at $4.60 in the Tab.com.au Handicap (1100m).
Widdup put his last placing on that occasion down to a combination of being “a bit suspect at 1200m with a big weight’’.
“That’s my thinking, I could be wrong. It was a small but select field last time and it saw him out,’’ he said.
“The 1100m is more suitable. The stewards reported he pulled up lame behind but we didn’t find too many issues when we got him home.
“He’s since had a trial and he’s trialled very well and we’ve found a nice race for him.’’
Watch Junglized's barrier trial at Hawkesbury from December 18
Junglized has five rivals on Saturday and while he’s carrying the same weight (59.5kg) as last start Widdup said that 100m less is quite significant.
He’s not planning to make any knee-jerk changes to the gelding’s racing pattern and he’s likely to be right on the pace again.
“I’d imagine that would be the instruction, it suits him and I have no reason to change,’’ he said.
“He needs to be rated right and he should run very well.’’
Widdup has two plans beyond Saturday’s race depending on the result.
If Junglized wins he’ll likely look for another race in Sydney around the same trip. If he runs well but is beaten he’s eligible for the $250,000 Magic Millions Country Cup in two weeks.
Stablemate Miami Dade resumes in the #Theraces Handicap (1200m) and Widdup expects him to need the run but is looking forward to his subsequent starts.
The ex-Godolphin five-year-old is having his first full preparation for Widdup after changing hands mid-prep earlier this year.
“He’s probably still carrying a bit of condition and it’s a solid race,’’ he said.
“We’ll ride him quiet and hopefully he can hit the line. I’ve been really happy with him this time in but to say he’ll come out and won is a bit above him.
“As long as he runs well I think we are in for a good campaign.’’
Meanwhile, Widdup said $1.6 million colt Chauffeur will enjoy a decent spell before attempting to resurrect the three-year-old’s career in the winter.
He’s the third trainer to try his luck with the talented, but so far enigmatic, galloper who started off with a winning debut for Gerald Ryan and in the early spring managed one second placing in four starts for Team Hawkes.
“I haven’t laid eyes on him yet but he’s in good hands up at Strawberry Hills. He’s going to have a good spell and we’ll see what happens,’’ Widdup said.
“He’s been in good hands before so I’m on a hiding to nothing but he’s a good horse to have a crack at.’’