It came a week late but Unencumbered has a perfect draw for Saturday’s Sires’ Produce Stakes at Randwick.
Unencumbered’s jockey Craig Williams was thrilled to land barrier two in the Sires’ but he would have liked a better alley in the Golden Slipper seven days earlier.
A wide barrier ruined Unencumbered’s Slipper bid when it forced Williams to take him to the back of the field.
“When we straightened up, we were just in the wrong place to where the chances were,” Williams said.
“They were in a different race.”
Unencumbered’s prospects of a maiden Group One win rose markedly after Tuesday’s barrier draw for the Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
Williams said the gate provided him with extra flexibility to find an early position for Unencumbered.
“I’m just delighted he got that barrier,” Williams said.
“It means we can do what we want to do with him. It could mean we are able to sit closer in the run if he can.”
The Sires’ Produce will be Unencumbered’s 10th run in a two-year-old season that started with a Randwick trial in September last year.
Williams said Unencumbered was showing no signs of needing a spell while the addition of blinkers have helped the youngster’s racing style.
“He’s responded really well to the blinkers,” Williams said.
“He’s got a really solid constitution and I’m looking forward to Saturday.”
Unencumbered, a son of Vinery Stud’s Testa Rossa, will need to break the recent stranglehold of Darley stallions in producing the winner of the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes.
Exceed And Excel sired Helmet and Guelph to win in 2011 and 2013 respectively while Lonhro produced the 2012 winner Pierro.
Exceed And Excel will not be represented in Saturday’s edition of the race but Peter Snowden will run Lonhro colt Kumaon.