By Ray Hickson
There’s no doubt in trainer Kim Waugh’s mind that Trumbull is racing in career best form but a recent habit of stepping away slowly is holding him back.
So it’s over to Nash Rawiller, who is trying to chase down James McDonald in the premiership race and will ride Trumbull for the first time in the Schweppes Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday, to put the hard word on the consistent four-year-old.
After failing to qualify for the Provincial Championships, Waugh freshened Trumbull and in three starts back he’s been hampered by wide barriers and those slow starts haven’t been helping his cause.
But Punter’s Intelligence sectional data backs up Waugh’s view the gelding is in peak form – in his last start fourth behind Ranier in the Listed Luskin Star (1300m) he ran the second fastest last 600m of the day (32.45).
“It’s definitely costing him races, and the bad barriers, but I don’t know why because he’s not doing anything in there,’’ Waugh said of Trumbull’s casual starts.
“It’s not as if he’s a rogue, he’s really cool and he can actually ping the lids.
“We’ve given him barrier practice and in trials he doesn’t seem to have an issue. I think he just seems to gel with some jockeys more than others.
“It’s a bit of a mystery because the jockeys can’t give me much reason why he’s happening. Nash is good at getting them out of the barriers so we are just hoping Trumbull likes Nash.’’
Trumbull runs fourth at Rosehill on May 16
Ironically, James McDonald won successive races on Trumbull earlier in the season and around this time last year Jason Collett guided him to a couple of wins but neither have had any luck getting him to bounce in his last two starts.
Prior to the Luskin Star, back in a Benchmark 88 which is the same class he'll meet on Saturday, he was narrowly beaten by Hightail and again ran the fastest last 600m of the race (33.77) after conceding a big start off the outside gate.
Saturday will be the first time since Trumbull won at Kembla Grange in November that he’s drawn closer to the inside than the outside, he’ll jump from barrier seven and Waugh said it gives him every chance.
“I think it is a nice barrier for him and he seems to get through the wet fine,’’ she said.
“He’s ready to rumble, Trumbull. We know he is good enough, he’s holding himself back a bit.
“That’s what’s been really frustrating, this horse is absolutely flying and he’s been having a few gutbusters because he’s been giving a bit of a start a few times.
“He’s very consistent, his runs have been fantastic and the times he’s running are mindblowing. I keep thinking ‘what are you doing to me, you’re breaking my heart’.’’
Trumbull was $4.40 second favourite behind Soldier Of Love ($3.10) with TAB on Wednesday afternoon.