By Ray Hickson
Trainer Gerald Ryan believes the addition of blinkers will help Bottega close the gap on stablemate Colada in Saturday’s $1m Bondi Stakes (1600m) at Randwick but he maintains there’s not a lot between them.
The pair clashed in the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes over 1500m two weeks ago and Colada led throughout as a $20 chance while Bottega, the $2.20 favourite, came from last to run third.
The TAB market is expecting Bottega, with Everest winning jockey Glen Boss in the saddle, to turn the tables ($4.60 vs $8) and while Ryan said the blinkers will help Bottega he wouldn’t be surprised if the result was the same.
“They have both trained on and done well and I’d expect them to run similar races,’’ he said.
“I would doubt (Bottega) will get as far back in the blinkers. He doesn’t pull on the track with them, he’s had them on heaps of times and he just sits back off his mates.
“They are both nice horses and it’s a pity they have to run against each other.’’
Colada wins the Stan Fox Stakes at Randwick on October 12
Colada ran a track record in winning the Stan Fox while Punter’s Intelligence sectional data shows Bottega ran his last 600m in 33.23 or more than seven lengths faster but gave away too much start.
“His run that day was huge,’’ Ryan said.
“I just thought the other horse probably had better form lines going into the race. (Bottega) was just coming out of provincial maidens and class 1s.’’
While Glen Boss will have to weave his magic on Bottega, Ryan said Robbie Dolan won’t be changing too much on Colada who drew the outside.
“From that barrier we’ll let him roll, he doesn’t have to lead but if he gets to the front and rolls a little bit he’ll run well again,’’ he said.
“He has a question mark on running a mile, he’s had one go at it and just got run over.’’
Ryan has Cardiff engaged in the Listed $200,000 Southern Cross Group Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) and the honest Coterie will be second-up in the Kogaroo Handicap (1200m).
He’s hoping Cardiff, a last start second at Warwick Farm, can take advantage of a favourable barrier in a small field while Coterie, as always, will rely on getting the breaks in the run after an eye-catching fourth at Kensington.
“There’s a question mark on 1200m in a high pressure race with Cardiff,’’ he said.
“He’s taken a sit before, he only went forward the other day because he drew out wide. We’ll just come out quiet on him and ride him where he lobs.
“Coterie was a good run first-up with a big weight on a track where you couldn’t get back and win.
“He’s at his right level, down 5kg and the race doesn’t look any stronger than what he ran in the other day.’’