By Ray Hickson
Trainer John Thompson says the return to dry conditions at Randwick on Saturday give talented three-year-olds Into The Abyss and Purple Sector the opportunity to improve on career records that don’t reflect their ability.
Into The Abyss has one win from 10 starts to date while Purple Sector also has just the one win from 11 starts but since both horses broke their maiden status they’ve campaigned in stakes company.
More recently, though, they’ve been campaigning on wet tracks and Thompson is adamant they, along with stablemate Camdus, can show their best now Randwick has dried up.
“The biggest thing with my three runners is getting back on a dry track,’’ he said.
“I don’t think any of them like a wet track and will enjoy getting back on top of the ground.’’
Into The Abyss won on debut back on Boxing Day 2017 and has posted three stakes placings since, the latest being the Group 3 PJ Bell (1200m) two weeks ago where she was run down by Multaja.
Into The Abyss runs second at Randwick on April 6
On the strength of that effort the filly is TAB favourite at $3.90 for the Group 3 $160,000 HKJC Carr Stakes (1400m) and Thomson said the combination of barrier one, a good track and being third-up is in her favour.
“She’s been unlucky a few times but she has been running pretty much in stakes races,’’ he said.
“She’s knocking on the door and she probably nearly wins the other day if it was dry. I think she has a better turn of foot on top of the ground.
“This is her distance range, 1200m-1400m, and she is going to get a soft run from the inside gate and see seems to have improved again.’’
Purple Sector looked in for a big autumn when he charged home into second in the Eskimo Prince over 1200m two months ago but was skittled in the Randwick Guineas and failed on a heavy track in the Rosehill Guineas.
He showed some improvement with a close fourth in the Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) two weeks ago but Thompson says we’ll see a different horse in the Group 3 $160,000 Cellarbrations Frank Packer Plate (2000m).
“I can see the difference in his work going into it,’’ Thompson said.
“His main gallops on the Saturday and Tuesday before his race this week have been on dry grass tracks. The horses he’s been working with were running alongside him previously but this week he has been putting them away.’’
Thompson concedes Camdus has struck a strong edition of the Group 3 $160,000 TAB Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) but says the horse is working well and has drawn to give himself every chance.