By Ray Hickson
How Randwick plays with a 10m rail could derail Lanciato’s attempt at keeping his perfect second-up record intact in the Group 2 $200,000 Tramway Stakes (1400m) on Saturday.
That’s trainer Mark Newnham main issue with his Epsom-bound charge, a noted backmarker, while rival trainer Greg Hickman has a perfect scenario with Tramway favourite Pierata drawn to get all the favours.
Newnham isn’t usually so bothered with Lanciato drawing wide but he said under the circumstances that could present on Saturday it leaves him with few options.
“If I had any concerns it may be that the rail is out 10m but by his race we will know the pattern of the day and whether or not it is possible for him to win,’’ he said.
“If you draw in a bit you can naturally land two or three lengths closer without doing any work for it.
“The thing with drawing wide, he goes back anyway, it doesn’t give you options working into the race. You’re going to be back and wide but if he draws in he probably gets covered up to the 300m then has to find a gap.
“But the barrier is the jockey’s problem not the trainer’s problem.’’
Lanciato resumed with a typically eye-catching fourth behind Pierata in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) and with an unblemished second-up record going to 1400m is ideal.
He’s third elect in the Tramway at $7.50 and an $8 chance in TAB’s All-in Epsom market.
Punters Intel revealed Lanciato ran 32.60 for his last 600m in the Missile, easily the best of the race and second fastest overall on the day.
Newnham said the whole preparation for Lanciato, who was kept ticking over with a trial behind Redzel on August 20 where Tommy Berry was reacquainted with the gelding, has gone to plan and, with even luck, expects a top three finish at worst.
“He probably went a little better than I thought he might, considering he’s not a winner at 1200m and hadn’t been to weight for age before and he was still wintry in the coat,’’ he said.
“He still has improvement to come, which is how I want him at this stage, but for a 1400m in this company he’s ready.’’
Pierata, the $3.30 TAB favourite for the Tramway, has done nothing but please Greg Hickman since his Missile Stakes win where he proved he’ll be a big spring player by lowering the boom on Kementari.
Pierata wins the Missile Stakes, with Lanciato fourth, at Randwick on August 4
The four-year-old is likely to head to Melbourne after Saturday’s race, chasing Group 1 races, unless a last minute deal can be struck for The $13 million TAB Everest.
“He’s in a race he can win, he’s done nothing wrong at home and I’ve gone over him myself every afternoon,’’ Hickman said.
“Maybe his work was a bit quick on Tuesday and a bit slow on Thursday but the horse is as well as I can have him.’’
While Pierata can be a bit deceiving to look at, Hickman says he appears to change shape regularly, the entire is still growing into himself.
“This week is the first week I’ve seen him bite a bit harder and arch his neck a bit stronger and be a bit more like a stallion,’’ he said.
“He’ll look enormous in the enclosure on Saturday.’’