By Ray Hickson
He’s Mr Dependable by name and according to co-trainer Adrian Bott is becoming very dependable in nature.
Although the front-running four-year-old has already built an impressive record, with three wins from eight starts, Bott said he’s seen significant mental development that will hopefully guide him to victory in the Ranvet Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
And while it would seem he’d be a likely type to tackle feature mile races like the Group 2 Villiers or $1m The Gong later this year it’s been a very deliberate one step at a time approach from Tulloch Lodge.
“He has the makings of a horse that could get to a better level but we don’t want to rush there,’’ Bott said.
“There’s no use getting ahead of ourselves yet. It’s taken us a while to get him to this point mentally to relax and settle in his races.
“In that sense he’s a different horse this time in. Hopefully he can put it all together now and we can start to put more pressure on him and test him but we want to go through the right steps.’’
Mr Dependable has had the one run back from a spell for a more than respectable fourth behind True Detective at Rosehill three weeks ago.
The 1300m distance wasn’t in his sweet spot and he raced wide on the pace so the effort told, his last 200m of 12.52 (Punter’s Intelligence) evidence of that after basically matching the winner's times to the 200m, but Bott there’s a good platform to springboard from now he’s out to the mile.
“He looks fantastic and has done well since that first-up run,’’ Bott said.
“It was an excellent run given the circumstances, it was always going to be an unsuitable race over the shorter distance and he was caught wide early.
“There was pressure in the race early and he had to do a fair bit of work in the early stages and I thought he was very brave.
“So second-up he has a good record (two from two) and he’s stepping up to the distance where he’s best suited and it looks a nice race for him.’’
While the gelding has drawn the outside barrier Bott said it’s not such a bad thing as he’s not the type of horse you want to have to bustle early.
He’s a clear $3.80 favourite with TAB and it wouldn’t have gone unnoticed that he easily accounted for Rocha Clock over the Randwick mile second-up last time in.
Mr Dependable runs fourth at Rosehill on May 30
Newcastle trainer Jason Deamer is hoping ex-Waterhouse/Bott galloper Chocolatier can continue his good form since switching stables and sees no reason why he can’t test his former stablemate.
Chocolatier ran out an easy winner over 1550m at Canterbury at his second start for Deamer who says he’ll be making full use of barrier one on Saturday.
“It’s the next step up in class but that’s where he is at. He doesn’t have to lead but I imagine he will be in the first three,’’ Deamer said.
“He’s tried very hard both times, everything went to plan last start though I thought he found the front a bit too early so it was a good win.
“He’s done very well since, it’ll be a wet track again but we know he can handle it.’’