Jason Attard says a wide Epsom Handicap barrier for Sons Of John isn’t ideal – but it isn’t the end of the world either.
Sons Of John will make his Group One debut in the Epsom, pitting his credentials against Chris Waller’s race favourites Winx and Silverball and the Kris Lees-trained mare Lucia Valentina.
Attard admitted barrier 15 hasn’t done the five-year-old any favours.
“Look, it’s obviously not as good as an inside barrier but we’ve just got to work with what we’ve got,” Attard said.
“Barrier four or five would’ve been much better. But he’ll still be OK and give it a shot on the day.”
Tuesday’s barrier draw brought no significant changes to the Epsom betting market, with Sons Of John firmly ensconced in the middle of the pack at $15.
Winx backs up from the Theo Marks Stakes as a firm $2.80 favourite from barrier 13, while Lucia Valentina and Sadler’s Lake start from barrier four and three respectively as $8 chances.
“Noted backmarkers Winx, Lucia Valentina, Kirramosa and Silverball are not affected (by the draw) but will want the field to roll along,” TAB spokesman Glenn Munsie said.
Sons Of John defied the odds to finish second behind Winx in the Theo Marks, and Attard said the gelding had pulled up well from the first-up run.
He’s expecting the five-year-old to maintain the same level of form.
“He raced as we thought he would in the Theo Marks,” Attard said.
“We gave him two hard barrier trials to get him fit enough and obviously that did the trick because he’s looking great.
“He’ll finish off hitting the line.”
Saturday’s $1 million race is a milestone one for Attard, who will be saddling his first Group One runner.
The emerging 28-year-old trainer said he could barely wait for the Epsom to come around.
“It’s only my second Saturday runner in town, so to have a Group One runner is unheard of. It’s just crazy,” he said.