By Ray Hickson
With a wet track assured, the great debate about whether Peltzer is the same horse at Rosehill that he is at Randwick should finally have its answer on Saturday.
Significantly, both jockey Tim Clark and co-trainer Sterling Alexiou point to the track condition not the track itself as contributing factors to his three Rosehill defeats compared to his unbeaten record at Randwick.
And it’s worth remembering the son of So You Think is also unbeaten on soft and heavy tracks.
Peltzer was a dominant first-up winner of the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) two weeks ago and Clark said he can only be confident going into the Group 2 $400,000 City Tattersalls Club Hobartville Stakes (1400m).
“He has to bring that form to Rosehill, he has that impeccable Randwick record, but I think the track being a bit soft will give him every chance to prove he can do it at both tracks,’’ Clark said.
“I’m not saying he can’t win on fast ground but he does appreciate when the track has a bit of give in it. I think this is his best chance to date to perform well at Rosehill.”
The colt’s Rosehill record reads a second in the San Domenico Stakes (Good 4), fourth in the Run To The Rose (Good 4) and fifth in the Golden Rose (Good 3).
They’re three serious spring three-year-old races and each was run at a pace that put Peltzer out of his comfort zone whereas in five of his six wins he’s had an element of control.
Alexiou said the colt came through his first-up win in fine fettle and sees no reason why he can’t continue stepping up to the plate.
“We were confident going into the Eskimo Prince knowing he was fit enough to be competitive if he got the right run,’’ he said.
“He ended up in the gun spot and just picked them up on class alone. He’s taken improvement from that race and it looks the logical next stepping stone to the Randwick Guineas (in two weeks).”
On the great track debate he says: “I’d lean to him enjoying the softer tracks rather than Randwick versus Rosehill”.
Clark said it was pleasing to see Peltzer turn the tables on North Pacific from their spring clashes in a sign that if there was a gap between him and the ‘A-graders’ it is closing.
And it was his strength at the finish of the Eskimo Prince that’s evidenced in him running easily the fastest last 200m of the race (11.99, Punter’s Intelligence).
“Early last prep when he ran against the A-grade, top class, three-year-olds he came up a bit short so hopefully this time in he can measure up,’’ he said.
“He showed signs first-up he has come back bigger and better.
Peltzer wins first-up at Randwick on February 6
“I thought he did a really good job coming from just off the speed. I was impressed with how he went about it.
“He still has to continue to improve and raise the bar but a race like the Randwick Guineas is well and truly on his radar if he can run well.”
Peltzer, $4 with TAB, has drawn ideally and Clark said he wouldn’t be afraid to lead if needed but is just as happy to stalk the speed again as he did when resuming.
“He can adapt to the situation, he’s a kind horse to ride and if he isn’t able to lead and there’s a couple who want to go quick you saw the other day how well he came back and relaxed,’’ he said.