John Thompson remains upbeat about Special Missile’s chances at Rosehill despite the consistent gelding’s frustrating preparation of near misses.
The Randwick trainer was convinced the gelding had won last start on May 19 only for a photo-finish to confirm he had been nosed out by King Darci.
Thompson has watched Special Missile denied by tight margins in his past two starts but believes he gets his chance in Saturday’s Octagonal Handicap (1400m).
“I could have sworn he won last time. He’s really knocking on the door,” Thompson said.
Special Missile was also denied a sixth career win by a short neck when Tougherthantherest lived up to his name at Rosehill on May 5.
Thompson believes a weight drop of 2.5 kg from his last start, barrier two and Sydney jockeys’ premiership leader Brenton Avdulla should all work in Special Missile’s favour.
“Coming back 100 metres won’t worry him too much either,” he said.
“He takes a couple of runs to get going but once he gets fully fit he holds it for a while and he’s there now.”
Special Missile was the joint $5 second elect alongside Crafty Cop with the TAB on Thursday with Noire, one of five Chris Waller-trained runners, the $4.40 market leader.
Thompson says if Special Missile maintains his form he will extend his preparation to the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on July 14.
Waller says although Noire has drawn awkwardly in gate 11 of 13, he is confident the mare can improve on her first-up fourth in the Colin Hayes Hall Of Fame Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill on May 19.
Sydney’s leading trainer is also positive about Invinzabeel who has his first start since January.
Invinzabeel has been based at Waller’s Gold Coast stable and ran second in a barrier trial at the track on May 17.
“He’s been working well. He’s a hard horse to catch when he gets conditions to suit and the right ride,” Waller said.
The stable is also represented by Mister Sea Wolf, Sir Bacchus and Liapari.