By Ray Hickson
Trainer Les Bridge is well known for telling it like it is and he’s adamant lightly raced filly Skedaddle can take a step up in class in her stride at Kensington on Wednesday.
The three-year-old returns in the Microphone @ Darley Handicap (1000m) having created a big impression with a sharp all the way win on debut on a soft 7 track back in February and she’s again shown plenty of speed in winning her two recent trials.
While Skedaddle only has a maiden win to her name Bridge said she’s a filly with some quality.
“It’s not hard (to make the step in class) if they’re good enough,’’ he said.
“She’s trialled well, she’s only had the one run and won it so she goes good. She’ll run a really strong 1000m, they’re going to have to beat her.”
Skedaddle, $1.65 with TAB on Tuesday, had four barrier trials in two preparations prior to winning over 1100m in the summer and she’s had another two this time in.
Bridge said she’s been a slow maturer but to his eye she’s really starting to come into her own physically and is confident her trials can transfer to race day as they did in February.
The task is harder, though, as she carried 55kg to win under Chris Williams on debut but with no claim this time she'll shoulder the full 59kg with Kerrin McEvoy riding.
“She’s been a slow developer that’s all, she missed out on all the fillies races but she’s grown a lot,’’ Bridge said.
“Barrier trials are barrier trials but she trialled well in both of them. So if she can take the barrier trial form to the race she will be hard to beat.”
All three of Bridge’s runners at Wednesday’s meeting have the advantage of being previous winners on the Kensington track and the trainer expects Olympic Legend to relish a rise in trip in the Heineken Handicap (1550m).
The gelding was a first-up winner at Canterbury over 1200m, his two other wins came on the Kensington track, before sitting on the speed in his fourth behind Katalin at 1300m a month ago.
“He’s a good honest horse, I think the 1550m will suit him,’’ Bridge said.
“He loves that track and I think he will run well, we’ll just ride him a bit off the speed this time. He likes his runs spaced a bit so he’s had that.”
And Bridge is itching to get Lennon out beyond a mile in the near future but will have to be content with the 1300m of the Sky Racing Handicap.
The Hall Of Fame trainer quickly says “I like Lennon” when asked about the three-year-old gelding who downed Exoboom to win his only race to date back in December.
He was a $7 chance and found himself well off the speed and made late ground, clocking 10.94 from the 400m-200m (Punter’s Intelligence) before being tightened, finishing midfield behind Gravina at Randwick last start, that followed two promising runs over shorter trips.
Skedaddle wins a trial at Randwick on June 8
“I would prefer it to be 1400m but I think on the soft ground he will be all right,” Bridge said.
“I think you will find in time, he really has a middle distance horse’s pedigree, you will see the best of him over further down the track.”
Meanwhile, Bridge said he's pleased with how Everest champion Classique Legend has settled back into his stable since returning from Hong Kong, via New Zealand, a week ago.