Trainer Jim Conlan says he has no reason to think Rekindled Interest won’t cope with backing up in the Mackinnon Stakes seven days after a luckless run in the Cox Plate.
Conlan said that all week he had been looking for any signs that the four-year-old was not right to run in Saturday’s 2000-metre weight-for-age feature at Flemington, but on Friday declared him in peak condition and ready to go again.
“I rode him this morning, as I have done all week, and honestly there isn’t any indication that he won’t perform,” Conlan said.
“If he doesn’t go well, the first thing we are going to say is he doesn’t back up but he seems perfectly well to me.
“All the indicators you use as a rule are all positive.
“His blood profile was good, his weight is good, his appetite is good and he feels well.”
The only time Rekindled Interest has backed up in seven days was exactly a year ago when he was beaten 12 lengths when finishing fifth to Lion Tamer in the Victoria Derby.
He had won the Vase at Moonee Valley a week earlier.
Conlan is prepared to forgive the Derby effort as the Classic was run on a heavy track on a wet day.
On Saturday he is hoping for a track with some cushion without being bottomless.
“He doesn’t want it too firm and he doesn’t want it heavy. If he gets a track somewhere in between I would expect him to run really well,” Conlan said.
Rekindled Interest, who is an easing Mackinnon favourite from $3.50 to $4.20, finished third to Pinker Pinker and Jimmy Choux in the Cox Plate after failing to get a clear run on the home turn.
Conlan said King’s Rose beat him to an opening and that the option of switching to an inside run was lost when Pinker Pinker dived through.
“It all boiled down to a split second,” Conlan said.
“He can rip off some great 400-metre sectionals for you but he didn’t get the chance to do that.”
Going to the line not fully tested suggests Rekindled Interest still has plenty to offer and Conlan hasn’t galloped him this week to keep him fresh.
“He’s fit enough,” Conlan said.
Dwayne Dunn has retained the ride on Rekindled Interest who has drawn favourably in the Mackinnon.
“Barrier five should just give him a nice sweet run,” Conlan said.
The best-backed Mackinnon runner is Chris Waller’s last-start Coongy Handicap (2000m) winner Foreteller whose quote has been halved from $15 to $7.50.
Glass Harmonium, who missed the start in the Cox Plate and finished 10th, has tightened from $8 to $7 second favouritism while Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed has eased from $6 to $7.50.
The Lloyd Williams-owned Linton was scratched from the Mackinnon and the Melbourne Cup on Friday while New Zealander Wall Street, who was fourth in the Cox Plate, was under a fitness cloud after a mild colic attack on Wednesday night.