By Ray Hickson
Trainer John Thompson says he wouldn’t put it past backmarker Into The Abyss to cause a first-up upset in Saturday’s Group 3 $160,000 Toy Show Quality (1100m) at Randwick.
The four-year-old has only won once in her 12 starts to date, a by-product of being a horse than needs luck in her races, but Thompson said some of his enthusiasm about the mare comes from jockey Glen Boss.
“He’s a pretty good judge, Bossy, he’s been riding her work and in her trial,’’ Thompson said.
“It’s a bit short for her but she is going well, she’ll probably get back over 1100m and hit the line strong. You never know, she might run over the top of them.’’
Into The Abyss, a $12 chance with TAB, finished in the second half of the field in her only trial behind Sunlight two weeks ago.
In the autumn she had two close calls in Group 3 mares company with narrow defeats in the PJ Bell and James Carr so her record could easily look a lot better.
“She’s a horse with a bit of quality, that can get horses out of trouble but I’d say at the 1100m she is going to need a bit of luck,’’ Thompson said.
Stable star Dreamforce is likely to be saved from Saturday’s Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) in favour of a Tuesday barrier trial.
Thompson said the seven-year-old, last start third in the Doncaster Mile, can resume in the Tramway Stakes (1400m) in a couple of weeks and not disrupt his Epsom preparation.
“He has a bit of weight and the outside draw, our main aim is the Epsom and not first-up,’’ he said.
“You wouldn’t want him to have a gut-buster first-up, cruelling your chances for bigger goals later in the prep.’’
With an overdue win against her name, Thompson sees no reason why Sweet Deal can’t continue her consistent form in the Kogaroo Handicap (1400m).
Sweet Deal showed a sharp turn of foot, running an 11.06 last 200m (Punter's Intelligence), last start at Rosehill and while drawn out the trainer says that confidence will do her a world of good.
The mare ($8.50) won’t be favourite this time around, with Godolphin’s Roheryn ($2.15) stifling the market.
“She’s a mare in form, she looks amazing and has done very well between runs,’’ he said.
“The way she won the other day gives her confidence. With that little cuddle she showed a good turn of foot to get herself out of trouble.
Sweet Deal wins at Rosehill on August 10
“I think that will give Nash (Rawiller) confidence not to panic from the draw.’’
And he warns not to underestimate The Promise, in the City Tattersalls Club Handicap (1600m), who is a $10 chance with TAB after two runs back from a spell.
“I have to say she’s a horse that probably needs a bit of speed on and to get to the outside,’’ he said.
“She needs plenty of room to wind up and stretch out. The other day it was a slowly run race and she was caught on the fence.’’