By Ray Hickson
Three more city wins stand between James Innes Jnr and reducing his claim to 1.5kg and he’s hoping to knock at least one of those out of the way on promising filly Pendeloque at Randwick on Saturday.
And with the autumn carnival fast approaching he’s considering extending his apprenticeship, due to end on March 31, into the winter months in an attempt to outride his claim.
The 23-year-old has a number of key rides at Randwick and has a degree of confidence that he can continue his good record on the Gerald Ryan-trained Pendeloque in the ATC Membership Sprint (1000m).
The filly, a $5 chance with TAB, was an all the way winner when she resumed at Randwick two weeks ago and he sees no reason she can’t keep up the good work.
“Every start I’ve ridden her she’s indicated she can go through the grades,’’ Innes Jnr said.
“I can’t knock anything she’s done when I’ve ridden her.’’
Pendeloque was able to dictate in the small field first-up, where Punters Intel revealed she dashed home in 32.84, but faces a different scenario on Saturday where there looks to be plenty of speed.
Pendeloque's all the way win at Randwick - December 30
Innes Jnr said he’d love to repeat that situation but is confident she can fire without having to lead, as she showed when winning on debut.
“Hopefully we get a nice time in front again and if she produces a similar run to the other day she will be hard to beat,’’ he said.
“I won on her at Kembla giving her an educational run behind them and she came from second last. If you don’t have to be fighting her too much it is more beneficial for her.
“She’s got a bit more weight but she tries her heart out so she should be there in the finish, she will benefit from that run and Gerald always has her pretty spot on.’’
Innes Jnr added to the intrigue surrounding the speed angle in the Maroubra Mile (1600m) where he rides Coolring with just 51.5kg.
He said he erred when riding the gelding last week in a 1400m race and won’t be making the same mistake.
“I should have let him stride and I dare say that will be the plan on Saturday,’’ he said.
“I had to give him a dig to get to the lead and once I did I dropped my hands on him and he stopped underneath me. I’ll have to keep him up and rolling this time.’’
Among his other rides, which include winning chances Danetrille and Reward For Fashion, is the evergreen 10-year-old Lay Down The Law (race 8) who was beaten less than a length by Travancore on New Year’s Day.
He said there are still more wins left in the gelding but it’s important that he’s ridden a certain way.
“He likes the running rail, he’s a horse that can hang in quite badly,’’ he said.
“He’s drawn awkwardly but will be on the worse side of midfield and try to weave our way through again.’’