Sprinter Albumin is guilty of giving jockeys the impression he will appreciate a longer distance but trainer Gerald Ryan knows better.
At least, he does now.
“The jockeys who have been riding him always reckon he needs to go over further so we tried it and it didn’t work – again,” Ryan said.
The trainer is referring to Albumin’s most recent start over 1400m when he settled on the back of the leaders, only to tire and finish worse than midfield behind Renewal earlier this month.
It was the fourth time in the horse’s 22-start career that Ryan had been convinced to test him beyond 1200m and, in all likelihood, the last.
The trainer has subsequently stripped Albumin’s preparation back to basics and is convinced the horse is capable of a significant form turnaround when he lines up over his pet distance of 1100m in the EML Handicap at Randwick on Saturday.
The four-year-old has won half of his eight starts over the journey and has a 4.5kg weight drop.
“We’ve just led him off the pony, done a few different things with him, put the blinkers back on and brought him back to the 1100 metres where he’s always raced good,” Ryan said.
“This is his best distance, back off a fast pace. That’s what he needs.”
Albumin will have 15 rivals including emergency Noble Joey, who has been elevated into the field with the early withdrawal of Jungalized.
Ryan has also mixed things up for Tango Rain since he disappointed the stable with his first-up effort behind Intuition in the Hawkesbury Rush last month.
He confirmed the horse would be ridden more conservatively in Saturday’s Seven News Handicap (1000m) and it’s worth noting that two of Tango Rain’s three career-wins have come second-up from a spell.
“We’ve freshened him up, taken the blinkers off him and we’re going to try to ride him back off the speed if possible,” Ryan said.
Harper’s Choice rounds out Ryan’s Randwick team when he resumes in the Fujitsu Air Conditioning Handicap (1400m) after having bone chips removed following his last campaign.
The stayer has sprinted well fresh in the past and while Ryan expects him to improve from Saturday’s run, he says the horse has returned to work in top order.
“This time last year he raced really well in the winter and went on into the spring,” Ryan said.
“He’ll probably go towards some staying races again. We were thinking about the Ipswich and Sunshine Coast Cups but they’ve just come up a bit quick for us.”