Two-time Group One placegetter Mamaragan has been given a final chance to perform this autumn or face the likelihood of becoming a gelding.
John Thompson has taken a fresh approach to Mamaragan’s training regime and while the initial signs are good, he says the proof will be in the colt’s race day performances.
Thompson set him for the mile of the Caulfield Guineas last preparation but this time around he plans to keep the colt to shorter trips, kicking off with the Listed Fireball Stakes (1100m) at Randwick on Saturday.
“He’s been kept to short, sharp work and he has definitely enjoyed that,” Thompson said.
“All indications at home are that he’s going very well but he’s got to do it in a race and if he doesn’t, he will probably be gelded.”
Mamaragan has prepared for his return with two barrier trials, winning the first convincingly and finishing fourth to Saturday’s rival Wild Ruler in the most recent.
He didn’t wear blinkers in either but after Hugh Bowman rode him in his latest hitout, the top jockey suggested Thompson add the headgear.
Mamaragan sported blinkers at his final spring run when seventh in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington and Thompson has followed Bowman’s advice to reapply them first up at Randwick.
“His first trial was super. His second trial was a little bit of a head-scratcher,” Thompson said.
“Hugh said when other horses came up on his inside he seemed to completely lose focus so he said to put the blinkers on.
“We will do that and hopefully that switches him on and can run up to his best.”
Written by Mandy Cottell