By Ray Hickson
A class rise and a weight drop is often a successful formula for a progressive horse and co-trainer Adrian Bott says the platform is there for Mr Dependable to repay punters at Randwick on Saturday.
Mr Dependable will start favourite for the sixth time in his career, he has a two and three record to date, in the Quincy Seltzer Handicap (1800m) and Bott said his last start defeat has him steeled to square the leger.
While the grey did appear to have every chance in the lead over the Randwick mile two weeks ago, only to be stalked and claimed inside the 100m by Agassi, he did some early work under 58kg but race fitness in the heavy ground came into play.
“Just being second-up in testing conditions over a testing mile saw him vulnerable late,’’ Bott said.
“I still thought it was a commendable performance. He showed the improvement we wanted to see from his first-up run and expect to see that same level of improvement again going third-up.’’
Punter’s Intelligence sectional data showed Mr Dependable’s first 600m of 36.54 at the mile was about four lengths faster than the first 600m run in the 1400m event on the same day so he wasn't loafing.
He then ran a last 200m of 13.23 which was six lengths slower than his 400m-200m suggesting he knocked up a bit late after that early work.
Mr Dependable runs second at Randwick on June 20
Last time Mr Dependable, $2.40 favourite with TAB, stepped out over 1800m at Randwick he gave the punters nightmares as he opened up a four length lead rounding the turn only to be reeled in 50m from home as a $1.50 chance.
He then failed over 2000m before a spell but Bott said there will be no excuses if he’s beaten on Saturday.
Tim Clark has been on board in two of the gelding’s three wins and both runs back from wide gates but this time around he has gate three in an eight horse field.
“We think he is more seasoned for it now,’’ Bott said.
“He’s still progressing nicely and we feel he has a bit more to offer.”
Stablemate Faretti can’t lay claim to being dependable at this stage of his career but Bott is banking on the blinkers to shake things up for the $2 million purchase.
The gelding has been placed behind Starla and Fulmina in his two runs back from a spell and after an easy trial win in the shades is an $8 chance in the Newhaven Park Handicap (1300m).
“He was excellent in his trial and he is thriving,’’ Bott said.
“We felt the horse had a bit more to offer than what we were seeing. The horse is fit and well and we are happy with his work.
“The blinkers are a tool to help him focus a bit more and be that little bit more genuine in what he’s giving us.’’
For an update on Golden Slipper winner Farnan, read here.