Group-placed sprinter Tudor hasn’t lived up to Doug Harrison’s expectations of him this campaign, at least not yet.
But the trainer is adamant there have been excuses and hopes the horse’s luck changes at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Harrison is confident the four-year-old is in the right form for the William Hill Handicap (1200m) despite an outside gate.
“We haven’t had much luck this campaign,” Harrison said.
“When it started off I thought it was going to be a ripper. He had done that well.
“We gave him a good spell and could have raced him earlier but we waited for the Apache Cat Classic, thinking that would be the right race to kick him off in.”
Tudor was a luckless fourth in the Apache Cat at Cranbourne, going to the line without being fully tested after he was held up for clear running in the straight.
“He should have won,” Harrison said.
Tudor was chased down by Reldas at Moonee Valley at his next start on Cox Plate eve after crossing to sit outside leader Rain Affair and taking over around the home turn.
The son of Strategic failed in wet ground at Flemington third-up in a Listed sprint on Oaks day.
“After about the third race of the day the rain just came down and I probably should have scratched him,” Harrison said.
“It was a heavy track and he doesn’t handle the wet.”
Harrison pinpointed Saturday’s race for Tudor’s next start and has called on apprentice Jake Bayliss to claim three kilograms off the four-year-old’s 57kg impost.
Bayliss’s only ride on Tudor yielded a win at Bendigo in August last year when he beat subsequent Group One winner Stratum Star into third place.
Tudor, who has a win and three seconds from six Moonee Valley starts, has firmed into $9 with Nicoscene also supported as a $5 favourite ahead of Kievann and Boomwaa at $7.50.
“He’s got the outside draw but he does jump well from an outside gate,” Harrison said.
“I’m happy with the horse, he’s done well and I think he’s got to be a great chance in a competitive race.”
A Group Two placegetter in Adelaide last campaign, Tudor contested the Australia Stakes and Abell Stakes at Moonee Valley last summer, finishing fifth and second respectively.
Harrison confirmed those races were again on the horse’s radar.