Trainer Ben Currie believes Rothera’s Epsom Handicap campaign would now be in tatters had it not been for the cushion track at Toowoomba.
Rothera was set to make his comeback at Doomben last Saturday but missed a vital run in his Epsom campaign when the final two races were called off because of poor visibility.
On Tuesday, Toowoomba was hit with a torrential downpour which under normal circumstances would have closed trackwork on a grass track.
“Missing last Saturday has put us back a bit but it would have been even worse had he missed a hard gallop on Tuesday,” Currie said.
“We’re lucky we’ve got a cushion track at Toowoomba and the torrential rain we had didn’t interfere with any trackwork.
“If it had, it would have thrown his campaign right out.
“Not only would he have missed a run, he also would have missed a hard gallop.”
Currie has pencilled in an ambitious program for Rothera who will be ridden by Jason Letherby in Saturday’s brc.com.au Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm.
The Group One Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on October 1 is the immediate goal for Rothera whose campaign could be extended to take in the Group One Caulfield Cup (2400m) or Flemington’s Group One Emirates Stakes (1600m).
“He’s been in work a long time and is ready to go first-up,” Currie said.
“We were a bit disappointed when the races were called off last week on a heavy track and we’d like another wet track on Saturday.
“He just loves the wet. He gets through wet tracks easily and he’s very effective.”
Currie, who is in his final year at university studying for a journalism degree, will give Rothera his next start in the Group Three Bill Ritchie (1400m) in Sydney on September 17.
“It will have to take something drastic for him not to go,” Currie said.
“I just hope we get some more rain before Saturday.
“Plan A is to go to Sydney for the Epsom and if we have to use plan B he’ll go straight to Melbourne.”
Currie rocketed into prominence when Rothera won the Group Three Betfair Stakes on a heavy track at Caulfield last October.
Rothera hasn’t started since winning on a heavy track in the Listed Tattersall’s Members’ Cup (1600m) at Eagle Farm in March.
The temptation was there to continue on to the autumn carnival in Sydney and possibly the Brisbane winter but Currie saw signs Rothera may not have fully recovered from last year’s Melbourne campaign and decided to spell him.
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