By Ray Hickson
Coterie's shock last start flop remains a mystery to trainer Gerald Ryan so he's recalling the blinkers in an effort to turn the gelding's fortunes around at Randwick on Wednesday.
The four-year-old had stamped himself a coming winner with two eye-catching efforts before he could only beat one home when well supported to win the Listed Canberra Guineas (1400m).
Ryan said there were no excuses in the run, nothing could be found post-race and the horse has been in good order since.
"He positioned up well, had a good run but as soon as he went under pressure he was gone,'' Ryan said.
"Nothing came out of it, he scoped clean and his blood was good. It was one of those things I can’t put my finger on.
"I went there chock full of confidence and he went awful.''
Coterie wore the blinkers in his first-up fourth behind Fiesta in the Inglis Sprint then ran a game third behind Archedemus and Star Of The Seas at Rosehill.
Ryan said he's surprised the gelding hasn't won a race this campaign and hopes restoring the blinkers for the Australian Turf Club Handicap (1300m) will do the trick.
Coterie runs third behind Archedemus at Rosehill on February 23
"We put blinkers on him first-up then I took them off and put winkers on him for his next two starts,'' he said.
"After he did nothing the other day I thought I’d put the blinkers back on. On his best form he would go close.''
TAB has kept Coterie safe at $5.
Ryan is cautious about the chances of two-year-old Rammstein on debut in the Headwater @ Vinery Handicap (1150m) but long term says he could develop into a handy customer.
The colt ($16) was a recent trial winner on the Warwick Farm synthetic track after a close second on the grass beating home subsequent winner Not Feint Hearted.
"He went around because he needed the hitout, I can’t get a line on the form on synthetic tracks but he just needed to go there for his education,'' Ryan said.
"He’s pretty straightforward, well educated. He's not brilliantly quick, I’m not saying he’s a stayer or he can’t run well on Wednesday, so he’ll appreciate it when he gets out to 1400m.''
The Kensington track condition will be vital for Ryan's two other runners on Wednesday, Zourhea and King Tomlola who are coming off wet track failures.
Zourhea ($11) has been freshened to run in the Derby Day On Sale Handicap (1400m) while King Tomlola ($5) returns to the scene of his win on February 20 in the Tab.com.au Handicap (1800m).
“Corey (Brown) has said Zourhea travelled well to the home turn then as soon as she came under pressure she lost it. The common denominator is a wet track,’’ Ryan said.
“And with the big weight King Tomlola didn’t handle the pressure of a heavy track racing at Rosehill.’’