When Brett Cavanough took a punt on the Lloyd Williams cast-off Thought Worthy, he knew the horse would go one of two ways.
“When we bought this horse I said, `look we could roll over and do our arse on this overnight but there’s an X-factor. Let’s have a look at it’,” Cavanough said.
A week ago, it appeared the trainer’s gamble had been misguided.
The horse was sound and happy but when Cavanough asked him to put in a serious track gallop, the result was disappointing.
“I put my hands on top of my head and thought `well, I’m in a bit of bother here because if that’s the best the horse can do we’ve done our money’,” Cavanough said.
So the trainer did something unusual.
He worked the horse again 15 minutes later, this time in blinkers.
“I said `grab that horse out of the yard, brush the dirt off where he’d had a roll … put blinkers and a tongue tie on him,” Cavanough said.
“He went back over and he worked over 800 metres in 51 (seconds) and came home in 22.8.”
Thought Worthy will wear blinkers for the first time in a race when he makes his debut for Cavanough in the Ranvet Handicap at Randwick on Saturday.
It will be the two-time English stakeswinner’s first start since he was beaten almost 50 lengths in the Group One Turnbull Stakes last spring.
Cavanough believes hard tracks might be to blame for the horse’s poor Australian form and he is hoping Thought Worthy will appreciate a rain-affected surface.
“I did my homework and it sounded like he came here as a stallion and didn’t adjust to the hard tracks and hot environment,” Cavanough said.
“I’m not trying to prove anyone wrong, I just want to try to get him right.
“I think I’ve got him right in the head, he’s very happy.”
Thought Worthy will be one of three Randwick runners for Cavanough along with Grafton Guineas hopeful Another Rush and the speedy Just A Bullet.
They will be ridden by Richard Bensley who starred at last month’s Scone carnival with a feature-race double aboard Artlee and the Cavanough-trained Loved Up.