When frustrated Wagga trainer Trevor Sutherland first broke in a Fubu gelding for the late Arthur Menzies, he told the startled owner: “He’s a low act. He could crawl under a snake’s belly with an umbrella up.”
Menzies named the gelding Asp.
On Saturday at Albury, Asp, matured in both manners and stature, tackles the KDEC Data & Electrical Class 2 Hcp (1600m).
Sutherland’s early opinion has mellowed.
“Yeah, early on he was a character with attitude, he’s lost all that and like a lot of the Fubu breed, which I’ve had plenty of success with, he’s just taken a while to come around,” Sutherland said.
Asp however, with a win and six placings from 14 starts, has taken time for the penny to drop.
“He can be a funny horse, throw races away, lose concentration,” Sutherland said.
“He probably should have won a few more.
“He’s getting better but when he gets caught in traffic, he can make errors.
“When he won his maiden at Wagga (April 8), I told Michael Travers to let him roll along and he won accordingly (two lengths).
“He’s a horse that will go all day, thrives on racing and getting better every preparation.
“It’s taken perseverance but I think the best is still ahead of him.”
After winning at Wagga, Sutherland took Asp to Hillston only to strike rotten luck.
The three-year-old finished 7-1/2 lengths fifth to Beauclerc in a 1500m Class 1 Handicap on April 16.
“Forget the run,” Sutherland said.
“We thought we’d go down there for an easy pick-up but he got totally flattened at the 600 metres.
“He was following the leader, got badly checked, had his front legs taken from under him, got stood on his head and was lucky to stay up.
“He went from third to near last, ran on late but with only a small straight he was gone.
“Luckily he only copped a few nicks.
“He’s trained on good and tomorrow we’ll probably roll forward around them again.
“The form around him this preparation has been really good.”