Veteran sprinter Decision Time is the stable favourite in the Clarry Conners yard, but apparently not so popular elsewhere.
On Monday afternoon, the trainer was still trying to find a rider for the $1.5 million earner in Saturday’s Canterbury Classic at Randwick.
“Nowadays it seems you need to book jockeys in Sydney two weeks in advance,” Conners said.
“I started trying a week ago. It’s also a bad time of year with some Sydney jockeys riding in Queensland on Boxing Day.
“Apart from that, the horse has come through his two trials really well. He won them both and I’m very happy.
“He has a pretty good first-up record but I did think this would be an easier race to start him off.”
The eight-year-old is one of 21 entries for the Listed Canterbury Classic (1200m) headed by the Chris Waller-trained Strawberry Boy, the top-rated on 103 for the quality handicap.
Runner-up to Crystal Lily in the 2010 Golden Slipper, Decision Time’s career has been interrupted more than once by injury.
“We don’t over-work him because of what he’s been through,” Conners said.
“He enjoys stable life. He’s more like a pet and follows everyone around.
“He is definitely the favourite horse in the stable.”
Decision Time had a three-start spring campaign, winning the Group Three Show County (1200m) before running unplaced behind Shiraz in the Concorde Stakes and Winx in the Theo Marks.
While Conners was waiting to find a jockey for Decision Time on Monday, he was also anticipating the return of Dawnie Perfect to the stable.
The winner of the Ethereal Stakes at Flemington, the filly was a race day scratching for the VRC Oaks, robbing Jim Cassidy of a Group One ride on his final day in the saddle.
“She had a minor issue with chafing from her work boots,” Conners said.
“The Australian Oaks at Randwick is her aim. She just had five weeks off and I’m looking forward to her return.”