Co-trainer Chris Hyland hopes to make use of a fitness edge with Annunciate as some higher profile horses kick off their campaigns in a restricted race at Sandown.
Annunciate runs in Wednesday’s Ladbrokes Back Yourself Handicap (1800m) and since winning a trial at Cranbourne in March has had 10 runs, finishing unplaced only once.
“Last preparation he didn’t quite know what he was doing while his bad run was an unlucky sort of a run at Werribee,” Hyland said.
“His whole preparation this time in has been really good in that maiden to (benchmark) 58 grade before a 64 (win) the other day.”
Annunciate’s past four starts have been on Pakenham’s synthetic track resulting in four wins and a second but Hyland noted the gelding was placed on soft going in May.
“You could say he handles the sting out but he’s probably most effective on firm ground if the synthetic’s anything to go by,” Hyland said.
“He’s getting up in grade and he’s well into his prep and you’d be surprised if he’s going to improve, but he’s been strong through the line in his last couple.”
Hyland knows Annunciate has limitations and is towards the end of his campaign.
But he also has an ‘if it’s not broken why fix it’ attitude with an in-form horse.
“Probably in the next month or so even the restricted races are going to get a bit harder so he’ll probably have a let-up and then race again during the summer,” Hyland said.
“I see Lloyd Williams has a couple of horses kicking off so hopefully we can beat those with a bit of fitness, but another month down the track I’d say we’ll be in the paddock having a rest.”
Hyland has this season joined his father, former champion jockey and Hall of Fame inductee, Pat Hyland, in a training partnership.
The pair has a boutique stable of 20 in work.
“We’ve been sort of working together for a fair while,” Hyland said.
“His numbers had dropped down a little and he’s getting a little bit older so we thought we’d put them altogether.
“That way we can have a bit of time off when we need a bit of time off.
“It works well in that aspect.”