By Ray Hickson
A mix of overconfidence and bad luck has seen Super Effort ridden in contrasting ways in his two starts for the Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou yard so the stable is hoping for a smoother passage at Randwick on Saturday.
The gelding was an arrogant winner at his stable debut at Newcastle despite a tough run but he had to be ridden for luck second-up at Randwick two weeks ago from a wide draw and he charged into third behind Fastconi, gaining second on protest.
Co-trainer Sterling Alexiou said the cards appear to have fallen Super Effort’s way to allow a smoother passage in the ATC Thank You Stable Staff Handicap (1300m).
“If he can take up a better spot and he gets a bit of luck in the straight he should be hitting the line like he did last start,’’ Alexiou said.
“We probably pumped him up a bit to Reece (Jones) at Newcastle because of the way he was working at home and if he ran up to his work he was going to go there and just win.
“So Reece probably rode him a bit cocky and took off at the half mile thinking he was on the best horse.
“He’s probably best ridden somewhere in between how he was ridden at Newcastle and how Jay (Ford) had to ride him from an ordinary gate.
“I’d imagine he’ll be somewhere midfield, if you leave him alone early he has a pretty good finish. If things go his way he has to be hard to beat.”
The gelding, formerly trained by Chris Waller, produced a slick last 600m on a heavy track, despite plenty of traffic issues, last start clocking 36.23 (Punter’s Intelligence) which was just 0.02 outside the race’s best.
Alexiou said there’s every reason to think Super Effort, $7 with TAB on Thursday, can keep up the good work this preparation.
“Since he’s set foot in here he’s shown he’s a pretty smart horse,’’ he said.
“It was an impressive win first-up off only jump outs at home and obviously it was a bit of a hard luck story the other day.
“If he can hold that form he should be able to knock up a couple of Saturday wins we would hope.”
Stablemate Zoumist again lines up alongside Super Effort after her first-up eighth behind Fastconi but Alexiou said it was more a run she had to have in conditions she doesn’t relish.
“She’s been in a few times and scratched and it was getting to the stage where she had to go to the races,’’ he said.
“She seems to appreciate a dry track so we’ll have to roll the dice and run her and ride her conservatively hoping things go her way.
“It would have been nice to draw midfield but that wasn’t to be so hopefully she can get a good cart into the race and onto a dry track she should have a better finish.”
Super Effort runs second at Randwick on July 17
Consistent five-year-old Perigord has won races on all conditions so switching back to a good track after his all the way heavy track win three weeks ago is no disadvantage.
However, Alexiou said the wide barrier in the Fujitsu General Handicap (1100m) may be a bigger hurdle on Saturday than it was last start when leading all the way in a seven horse field but he does drop to 54kg with Brock Ryan’s claim.
“Brock will have to be guided by where he begins and put him into the best position he can,’’ he said.
“The way he flew the lids the other day it’s hard to see him not taking up a prominent position.
“His run in the Bert Lillye (in March) was terrific against Subedar so if he can get into that form on a dry track it will take him a long way to being competitive.”