A drying Randwick track could help Glyn Schofield salvage an autumn carnival in which his major chances have been disadvantaged by wet ground.
The top jockey claimed the first Group One race of the Sydney autumn when Boban upset It’s A Dundeel in the Chipping Norton Stakes and that horse was expected to be his flagship mount over the carnival.
But the remainder of Boban’s campaign was dogged by rain-affected tracks, a problem which hindered several of Schofield’s best carnival rides including three-year-old Atlante and juvenile Lucky Raquie.
“Everything I have ridden this carnival has hated wet ground,” Schofield said.
“I’m due for a change of luck.”
That pair represent his final Group One chances at Randwick on Saturday when Atlante takes on the older sprinters in the All Aged Stakes (1400m) and Lucky Raquie runs in the Champagne Stakes (1600m).
Atlante’s rivals include TJ Smith Stakes runner-up Rebel Dane and Japanese mare Hana’s Goal in a task Schofield says is not beyond the colt.
“It’s a shame he’s struck wet tracks because when you ride him on the track in the morning he gives the impression he’s a Group One horse every day of the week,” Schofield said.
“But he definitely needs a dry track to show his best.”
Atlante made his Australian debut with a narrow second in the Hobartville Stakes, an effort Schofield felt sapped the horse of his zip in the Randwick Guineas when he struck a good track but was a soundly beaten sixth.
In the Tulloch Stakes he struggled in the heavy ground and with the 2000-metre journey.
“His first run I think gutted him on a wet track when Dissident just beat him then he was a bit flat in the Randwick Guineas. In the Tulloch Stakes he just didn’t stay,” Schofield said.
“Hopefully that hasn’t taken to much out of him but Murray is a super trainer and knows exactly what he’s doing with his horses.
“If he can strike a dry track on Saturday and still have a bit of freshness in him he’ll run well.”
Schofield also believes Lucky Raquie can improve on a firmer surface after she struggled in the ground when unplaced in the Sires’ Produce Stakes.