Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Champion jockey Glen Boss is confident of his chances on exciting runner El Roca in this weekend’s major Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on day 1 of The Championships, despite being allocated the awkward gate 17 at Tuesday’s barrier draw event.
While trainer Trent Busuttin appeared less-than convinced with the wide draw on Tuesday evening, Boss told TVN he believes El Roca will settle well in perfect position and is unfazed by the prospect of barrier 17.
“Barriers aren’t a massive disadvantage in this race; especially with horses with a light weight that can go forward, I don’t think it is that bad for us” Boss said.
“On face value there doesn’t look like there is a massive amount of speed, they are not runners, there is not a designated leader who you know will just burn along in front; there is no real fast horses in the race.”
Having returned to the track in peak condition this season, Boss said it was El Roca’s narrow defeat at the hands of Dissident in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) that made him pursue the ride on the talented Fastnet Rock colt this weekend.
“The day he got beaten in the Randwick Guineas; then is when I chased the ride” Boss added.
“He looked above himself, he went to win and probably got beaten by a good horse on the day but he looked like he peaked on his run in my opinion.
“He was the one going forward that I thought would be a big chance in the Doncaster.
“He fit the profile; he has come out and run well again at weight-for-age since; without winning, but running well.”
Yet to finish outside the places in four starts this preparation, El Roca won the Listed Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) first-up before finishing an unlucky second in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) on March 8th.
Pipped on the line by Dissident in the Randwick Guineas, El Roca displayed a strong turn of foot to finish only a length behind Gordon Lord Byron in third in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) last time out.
Having opened at particularly generous odds of $14 for success in the 2014 Doncaster Mile, El Roca has firmed slightly and is currently offered at a quote of $12.
Yet to be defeated in three race starts this preparation, Messene currently leads 2014 Doncaster Mile betting markets at $4.50 odds, ahead of market mover Weary ($6.50) and Hawkspur ($10).
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