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Thompson After Dream Start Ahead Of Ryder Defence

By Ray Hickson

Trainer John Thompson has designs on defending Dreamforce’s Group 1 George Ryder Stakes crown next month so is expecting a positive return from the evergreen galloper at Randwick on Saturday.

The eight-year-old is aiming to go one better than last year in the Group 2 $250,000 Yulong Apollo Stakes (1400m) and Thompson said he has a ‘happy horse’ after his spring was cut short.

“With age he’s got better and better, it was very satisfying to see him win a Group 1 and hopefully he can get another one before he’s done,’’ Thompson said.

“Anything along the way is good. Last prep we had a few little problems with his feet but he’s had a good spell and they are good again.”

Dreamforce, $6 with TAB on Thursday, has been given his standard build up with two barrier trials and Thompson made a point of the second one being over 1200m.

He said that trial was to ensure he’s fit and ready for a solid 1400m first-up given his racing pattern.

“He looks great and his trials have been good and he’s come through it really well,’’ he said.

Dreamforce wins a trial at Randwick on February 5

“Nash (Rawiller) got off after the trial and said he feels as good as ever. He galloped him again on Tuesday morning and was happy again. He didn’t do much because he only trialled last week but he just said he feels great.

“He’ll go forward and make his own luck and he’s forward enough to do it.”

What Thompson doesn’t want is a repeat of the speed battle in the Group 1 Winx Stakes first-up in the spring that saw Dreamforce compound to run second last.

The George Ryder, on March 20, will be Dreamforce’s third run this time in and he does hold nominations for the Star Doncaster Mile and Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes during The Star Championships.

Thompson warned Into The Abyss can perform better than her $18 suggests in the Group 3 $160,000 Robrick Lodge Triscay Stakes (1200m) if she can take advantage of barrier one.

The mare finished near the tail when resuming on Magic Millions Day but showed she’s on track with an easy trial win last week.

“She’s a mare that’s always shown ability, her trial was very good the other day,’’ Thompson said.

“I’d like to be closer, I think she goes well when she can box seat, so hopefully we can do that from a good draw and she’ll give a sight.”

And Thy Kingdom Come is being aimed the National Sprint at Canberra next month but Thompson expects him to continue his consistent form in the Ranvet Handicap (1300m).

He drops in class, but rises 6kg, on the back of a third behind Bandersnatch in the Listed Carrington Stakes (1400m) on January 23.

“He’s had a freshen since his last run, he is going well and I can’t see him do anything but run a good race,’’ he said.

All the fields, form and replays for Saturday's Royal Randwick meeting

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