Warrnambool horseman Matthew Williams has said the wide barrier draw for his talented galloper Uxorious in the Bletchingly Stakes will be a non-issue at Caulfield on Saturday.
One of 10 horses accepted for the $125,000 Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m), Choisir five-year-old Uxorious came up with barrier nine as they look to bounce back from their last start sixth at the track.
After winning the Listed Wangoom Handicap (1200m) first-up this year and then posting a second successive victory at Swan Hill in June, Uxorious had a horror run in the Listed Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) on July 16.
Striking multiple interference in the home run, Uxorious failed to come within five lengths of winner and Bletchingly Stakes rival Secret Flyer in the Monash.
Uxorious was drawn in the inside alley for that run and Williams is hoping their outer draw on Saturday will be the key for him to turn the tables.
“He just didn’t get a crack at them at all really in the straight,” Williams said.
“He went for runs twice up the inside and just got blocked, so he was never really extended.
“He doesn’t have great tactical speed from the gates, he can be a little vulnerable if he doesn’t hit the ground running, so he’s probably better off drawing out a little bit because he’s not going to get dictated to like what happened last start.”
Williams believes had he had any luck in the run, Uxorious would have had the acceleration to beat home Secret Flyer in the feature, and will get the chance to prove these claims on Saturday.
“My gut feeling was he would have been right in the finish,” Williams said.
“He looked like he was going to be right there.
“Secret Flyer might have still got over the top of him, but I thought he would have run top-three anyway.”
Also in the 2011 Bletchingly Stakes final field are Monash Stakes runner-up Rue Maple, fourth placegetter Stanzout and fifth placegetter Gold Trail who all defeated Uxorious last-start.
A late scratching from the John Monash Stakes that is back in the Bletchingly this weekend is Clinton McDonald’s local Mossman four-year-old Second Effort seeking their fifth win on the trot.
“I wouldn’t say it’s much stronger (the field) than the John Monash and if he had have had some luck in the running there he would have been right in it, so you would expect him to be right around the mark again this Saturday,” Williams said of Uxorious, who will be ridden by ace Victorian hoop Dean Yendall once again.
Bletchingly Stakes betting is lead by the Peter Moody-trained Mid Summer Music at $3.50 while Uxorious is rated a $9 chance.