Anthony Cummings will turn to a new piece of gear as well as the venue that provided a first-up win to get the promising career of Ultimate Shock back on course.
The in-form trainer is counting on pacifiers and a return to Warwick Farm to make a difference when Ultimate Shock returns to racing on Wednesday.
Ultimate Shock made an instant impression coming from New Zealand to make a winning debut for Cummings at Warwick Farm in December.
But in two subsequent trips to the races at Randwick, Ultimate Shock has delivered a midfield finish followed by a reluctance to co-operate with his raceday handlers.
“He’s a nervous type, highly strung,” Cummings said.
“He’s not nasty but if anything he wants to put too much into it so we’ve tried to get him to relax a bit.
“We’ve put a set of pacifiers on him to give him a filtered view of things so to speak and I’ve made a decision we probably won’t go to Randwick for a little while.
“He’s certainly worked well enough in the pacifiers to say he has come back well to run to his right form.”
Cummings expects Ultimate Shock to be a lot more relaxed when he parades before the TAB.com.au Handicap, an 1100m race in which the five-year-old is the early favourite.
“He’s been to Warwick Farm before and he coped with that,” Cummings said.
“So we’ll go and have another look and see if we can’t get a similar performance out of him.”
Among Ultimate Shock’s rivals will be Eminent Duke, the country-trained sprinter who is also nominated for the Group Two Challenge Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
Trainer Jan Bowen said she was happy to go with an easier option on Wednesday.
“I’d love to take on the big guns with him one day but for the moment I’m just hoping he has a bit of luck in Sydney for a change,” Hunter Valley-based Bowen said.
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