By Ray Hickson
There was a time during wet tracker Pelethronius’ almost two year run of outs when trainer David Pfieffer wondered if he’d get conditions to suit again.
Ironically, prior to his back-to-back successes this July, the seven-year-old’s win two years ago was on a good track but since then he’s proved to the Warwick Farm trainer he likes to get his feet wet.
Pelethronius chases a hat-trick in the NSW Racehorse Owners Association Handicap (1600m) in favourable heavy ground and Pfieffer sees no reason to think he can’t achieve it.
“I always knew he needed those wet tracks and in those two years he only had a few,’’ Pfieffer said.
“You have to question (whether he’d win again) a little bit because he was six years old and you wonder if they still want to do it.
“There’s plenty of confidence there now, he won at Warwick Farm then backed it up at Randwick.
“We’ve got that heavy track and we know he performs on a wet track. If he replicates his last run he’s going to be very hard to beat.’’
The gelding endured a run of 20 starts without success prior to his breakthrough at Warwick Farm on July 10 and his best effort in that time was a Listed placing in Brisbane on a heavy track last year.
Pfieffer said the wet track is a great leveller for horses and Pelethronius, $3.70 TAB second favourite on Saturday, proved that to him with his Randwick win when he endured a wide run but still powered away.
“Last start I thought we weren’t in a good spot, three deep no cover, so it was an outstanding effort,’’ he said.
“It’s a smaller field, I dare say he’ll be in the second half. He gets through the wet tracks well and he sprints better than most on wet tracks so I just hope they don’t get a holiday in front.’’
The problem facing Pfieffer with Pelethronius is where to go next because he says it’s hard to plan for a horse like him.
“I’m in two minds what to do with him after this preparation, whether I give him a long spell and miss the summer,’’ he said.
“He‘s never been tested past a mile and I think I could try him at 2000m at some stage.’’
Pelethronius wins at Randwick on July 20
Stablemate The Party Girl is another at home in the wet, though her stats aren’t as imposing as Pelethronius, and Pfieffer said she deserves another shot at a Saturday race.
The mare was runner-up at Randwick two weeks ago to Bangkok, where she ran the fastest last 200m of 12.18 in the race (Punter's Intelligence), and Pfieffer doesn’t think the ATC Thank You Owners Handicap (1400m) is any tougher.
“She’s not a very big mare and once I saw the nominations I was happy to have a throw at the stumps down in the weights,’’ he said.
“She’s in good form and I thought she mixed well with Saturday grade last start.’’
Pfieffer’s stable stars I Am Excited and Prophet’s Thumb will be due to trial later this month and the trainer is considering splitting them between states in the spring.
He said races like the Concorde Stakes or The Shorts are on the radar first-up for one or both and will target at least one of the pair at the Group 3 $500,000 Sydney Stakes (1200m) on Everest Day.