By Ray Hickson
Trainer John Thompson believes emerging galloper Chat has the right formlines and tactical nous to take him to a stakes victory in Saturday’s Listed $150,000 Fujitsu General Carrington Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
And he predicts stablemate Thy Kingdom Come will be a big improver on his first-up effort and can also give his rivals a run for their money.
Chat, $4.20 second favourite with TAB, came off a six week break and produced an eye-catching fifth in the Listed Christmas Classic (1200m) at Canterbury on January 1 behind Eleven Eleven and Discharged.
Eleven Eleven and Discharged then went to the Gold Coast last weekend and finished first and third in the Magic Millions Cup.
“The run was a bit better than what it looked,’’ Thompson said.
“He didn’t have a great run in transit and probably got a little bit tired the last little bit.
“He followed the winner the whole way and he went on to frank the form at the Gold Coast, and the third horse ran third at the Gold Coast, so it seems like it’s a good form race.
“Of anything coming out of that race that would improve the most it’d be my horse I’d imagine.”
Adding further merit to the form is a look back at his other three starts since his last win for a close fourth Group 1 winner Flit in the Silver Eagle, a last stride defeat in the Goulburn Cup then a third to Through The Cracks and Edison on TAB Hunter Day at Newcastle.
Chat ran 34.76 for his last 600m at Canterbury (Punter's Intelligence), second only to Eleven Eleven (34.70), and Thompson expects now he’s out to 1400m and drawn well he won’t be giving away so much start.
“He’s been dictated to by wide draws and the bigger fields so with a better draw he will be closer,’’ he said.
“We’ve tried to place him right and go through his grades. His last three or four starts he keeps going up in the ratings without winning, with a couple of placings in strong races, he’s a nice horse and has more progression to come.”
Thy Kingdom Come ($9.50) had his first run for six months two weeks ago and finished fifth behind King Of Hastings and Carrington favourite Bandersnatch so Thompson has a good handle on how the form stacks up.
The six-year-old meets Bandersnatch half a kilo worse for that clash but has barrier one and the prospect of more upside.
“He should improve out of that run a little more than Bandersnatch who had a couple of runs where we were first-up,’’ he said.
“He made a bit of a run at the top of the straight and died on his run being a bit fat first-up.
“Going to 1400m is his distance and with a good barrier, good jockey, no weight on his back, I’d expect him to improve.”
Chat runs fifth at Canterbury on January 1
Interestingly, Thy Kingdom Come has only placed once in eight starts at Randwick and that’s an anomaly that puzzles Thompson given he is trained there and races so well on the Kensington track.
Honest mare Le Lude kicks off another campaign in the Sky Racing Active Handicap (1400m) and boasts a strong first-up record that Thompson suspects will continue.
She’s a $16 chance with TAB but has won two of her four first-up attempts, including last preparation, and has another fresh placing to her name.
“Lope De Vegas normally go well fresh and she’s no different. She’s got better each prep and indications at home would say that,’’ he said.
“Her trial the other day was good and she’s come on from that again. I’m not saying she’s a good thing but she will definitely run well.”
Meanwhile, Thompson’s Group 1 winner Dreamforce finished third in his first trial this campaign at Randwick on Thursday while the likes of Mamaragan, Hunter winner Sweet Deal and Purple Sector will hit the trial track at the next Randwick session on February 4.