Trainer Richard Litt says there’s been no real secret to unlocking the winning potential of Canyonero as the gelding chases a hat-trick of victories at Kembla Grange on Saturday.
Canyonero had been a perennial placegetter for the first half of his career after amassing one win and 14 placings from his first 26 starts.
It took 16 starts for the gelding to break his maiden while under the care of former trainer Mark Newnham but he placed in 11 before finally breaking through.
Litt has had the son of Pierro since his maiden triumph with Canyonero joining his yard in December last year. He has raced consistently since then but it’s only over the past month that the five-year-old has finally got his reward.
Canyonero followed up a breakthrough win at Canberra on September 30 with a strong victory at Kembla Grange at his next visit to the races.
“I just think everything has fallen into place for him now,” Litt said. “He has been very unlucky a number of times, whether it be bad rides or racing without luck, and should have won more than he has.
“He is a ratbag and has a few tricks up his sleeve but is going well at the moment so let’s hope that continues.”
Litt will run Canyonero in the Worldwide Demolitions Conditional Open Handicap (1600m) on Saturday. The Warwick Farm trainer had also accepted in a 1400m event but was keen to test his in-form galloper over the mile.
“I have wanted to try him out of the mile because I think he ran quite well over the 1400m last start,” Litt said. “There is no reason why he shouldn’t be able to do it.”
Litt has three horses entered on Saturday’s card including the lightly-raced three-year-old Legal Challenge in the Andrew Hartcher Memorial Maiden Handicap (1400m). Legal Challenge is having his fourth race start on the weekend after last finishing third in maiden grade at Canberra.
“He is a nice horse,” Litt said. “He has taken a long time to come to because he is a bit immature.
“A bit of a mishap held him back but he is back on track now. I think he will run the 1400m well but is drawn wide so will have to go back, unfortunately. Hopefully, he can work home well down the outside.”
Former Godolphin galloper Mercury is the last of Litt’s trio but is in some doubt of running in the Gray’s Excavations & Clearing Benchmark 64 Handicap (1200m) with rain forecast in the coming days.
“If it’s wet he won’t run but he was good first up,” Litt said. “He will need this run as well but gets a couple of kilos off his back.”
The Kembla Grange card kicks off at 1.44pm on Saturday.