Local trainer Leon Macdonald is confident classy four-year-old Essay Raider will make the most of a central barrier draw and win this weekend’s featured Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville Racecourse.
Having returned to the track in competitive form this season, Macdonald told The Advertiser he could not be happier with the form and class displayed by the Bernardini gelding this season, and is confident the track and distance will play into his strengths on Saturday.
“I wouldn’t swap him for anything else before the race” Macdonald said of Essay Raider.
“We’re confident the horse will run well. He’s come through his last run well, the horse is on top of his game.
“I think the Morphettville 1200m is probably his pet go.”
Allocated the awkward barrier 13, Essay Raider is likely to push in twice to barrier 11 when emergencies are removed from the final field; something that Macdonald said should not pose an issue.
“I think coming into 11 is nice; we might have wanted to be a little but closer, but not much” Macdonald said.
“He’ll get some room and he’s got such a great turn of foot.”
Claiming an impressive total of five wins and five places from 19 competitive starts to date, Essay Raider more than stamped his claims as one to watch over the back-end of his 2013 spring/summer preparation; finishing second in both the Listed City Of Marion Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) most notably.
Returning to racing in prime touch this season, the gelding out of Elegant Eagle finished fourth in the Group 3 Irwin Stakes (1100m) first-up before returning to the winner’s circle in the Group 3 DC McKay Stakes (1100m) last time out on April 26th.
Lining up for The Goodwood in great condition, Essay Raider is currently offered at generous odds of $10 for success at Morphettville this weekend.
Having broken through for a maiden Group 1 victory in the Robert Sangster Classic (1200m) last time out, Driefontein is currently sole occupant of the top line of betting for Goodwood glory at a quote of $7, ahead of Miracles Of Life ($7.50) and Platelet ($8).
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