John Sadler is more than happy to be putting his son Tom on his runners at Sandown and believes the apprentice is an asset now he has matured as a rider.
The father-and-son combination link in two races on Wednesday with Sadler planning to start Gallant Harmony and Marli Magic, providing the track conditions suit, instead of Saturday races at Flemington for which they are nominated.
Tom Sadler is out to build on his four city wins this season including victory on the Lee and Anthony Freedman-trained Specter at Flemington on Saturday.
“Tom’s been going really well, and actually has been for a long time,” Sadler said.
“There’s not many he gives a sore back to. He’s certainly riding most of my horses well and on top of that he claims two kilos and he knows the horses well.
“So I think it’s quite an advantage for us.
“I couldn’t rap him early in his career because he took time for the penny to drop but he’s slowly becoming quite a good rider.”
Gallant Harmony finished second in a Flemington sprint last start, beating home subsequent stakes winner The Quarterback, and he contests the Sportius Global Events Handicap (1200m).
Sadler scratched Gallant Harmony from a recent Saturday Moonee Valley race because of a wide draw and because he didn’t think he would be able to beat sprinter-on-the-rise Reldas.
“I’ve found it hard to place him actually,” Sadler said.
“They are just not putting the races on for this class of horse. They are not catering for these horses that get wedged between about (a rating of) 75 and 90. He’s been in work a long time and he’s had two runs.”
Sadler, however, believes Wednesday’s race suits and rates him the stable’s best chance.
“He’s got some competition there but I think if he runs to his best he’ll be a good chance,” he said.
Marli Magic won last start at Cranbourne but Sadler said there could be a query on the four-year-old at Sandown because she has failed there before.
“We’re going there tomorrow to see if she does get around Sandown OK.”