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Mornington horseman Norman Waymouth is hoping the weather in Melbourne remains sunny and the track at Caulfield firm as his Australian Guineas minor placegetter Mr Milton looks to return to form in the Bletchingly Stakes 2012.
The three-year-old Snippetson colt is one of 20 nominees for this year’s $125,000 Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m), the last Group race of the 2011-12 Australian racing season.
A winner of just one of their 14 starts to date Mr Milton enjoyed plenty of success during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival where his best run was a third to the mighty Mosheen in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington in early March.
While they handled a Slow (6) track in the Guineas they failed to let down on another soft course next time out when the tight turns at Moonee Valley and a step up in distance saw them finish dead last behind Highly Recommended in the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m).
Rested after that run Mr Milton resumed at Caulfield on July 14 running a credible ninth, beaten four lengths, to the flying Platelet in the Listed Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) in the mud – the track rated a Heavy (9).
His trainer is willing to forgive that run as he believes Mr Milton will be better when they get on firmer ground despite their good efforts in the warmer months on softer tracks.
“There’s a big difference between a summer wet track and a winter wet track, at least in summer there is a firm base for them to get a hold of,” Waymouth explained.
“(Jockey) Steven King came in (after the Monash Stakes) and just said that he slipped and slid all over the place, the ground was far too wet for him and he just couldn’t quicken.”
Waymouth knows his horse has talent and a black type win in them but said their pending Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign will be determined primarily by the weather.
“I’m in the lap of the gods at this stage,” he said.
“We need the weather to improve and for these tracks to dry out.
“I’ll accept with him for the Bletchingly but I certainly won’t be making the same mistake twice if the rain comes.”
It is shaping up as an intriguing edition of the Bletchingly Stakes this weekend with other notable entries including Mick Price’s resuming weight-for-age champ Heart Of Dreams, former Hong Kong sprinter Green Birdie, and last-start winners Ready To Rip (Listed All Victorian Sprint Final) and Platelet (Listed Sir John Monash Stakes).
The official 2012 Bletchingly Stakes final field and barriers are due out on Wednesday with Races.com.au to publish the full list of acceptances and gates.
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