They may have failed over the distance last look at it but trainer David Lawlor is confident his well-tried three-year-old Architect can handle the mile in Saturday’s 2014 Sunshine Coast Guineas.
Batting a tough journey with cancer, the Eagle Farm-based Lawlor loves nothing more than the pain relief a win on the track gives him.
He’s hoping then to experience that again on Caloundra Cup Day this weekend where he saddles up Architect in the $125,000 Group 3 XXXX Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) and Noogoora Burr in the $175,000 Listed Reed Property Group Glasshouse Handicap (1400m).
“Winning is the best chemo going,” Lawlor, who had a close relationship with the late, great Wayne Wilson, told The Courier Mail on Thursday.
“I’m still going all right. I have my good days.”
Royal Academy four-year-old Noogoora Burr is a $26 shot for the Glasshouse while Bel Esprit gelding Architect is the firming $4.80 favourite in the latest Sunshine Coast Guineas odds.
“I think both have good chances,” Lawlor said of his pair.
Architect suffered a blow with a wide barrier 17 draw, coming into 15 with the emergencies out, but has been heavily backed to overcome the gate and take out the feature.
Timothy Bell stays on the galloper after guiding them to a big three and a half length win in the $50,000 Hardy Brothers Jewellers Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm just last Saturday where they displayed a scintillating turn of foot.
It also showed their improved running style after their swinging leg action nearly saw them banned from racing earlier in their career.
“He’s a lot stronger, mature and fitter now,” Lawlor said.
“He doesn’t throw it around as much.”
Last weekend was the youngster’s 31st career start, Architect having done lots of racing for their age in the style of the old timers at Darwin where Lawlor started his training career.
“I don’t work the guts out of them during the week,” he explained.
“If they are sound and good eaters, they do it for you.
“In Darwin, where I come from, you can race horses all year round, as long as you don’t gallop them. You just have to keep them happy.
“I learnt off the old timers. When I first came here (to Brisbane), I changed, but I’ve gone back to the old way now.”
A $24,000 purchase from the 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sales, they’ve now won over $208,000 in prize money and will be out to add to that with their breakthrough Black Type win in the Guineas.
They’ve been right up to Group 2 class this Queensland Winter Racing Carnival and held their own too when beaten one and a half lengths by Sacred Star in the QTC Cup (1300m) on May 31.
They jumped from the outside barrier (13) that day and so can handle the wide alley again especially over more distance on Saturday.
That step up in distance though is the real question, Architect having last seen the 1600m when a distant 13th behind Hopfgarten in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic in April.
Against their own age here in an easier class Lawlor believes the horse more than capable of seeing out the mile.
“We will find out Saturday. I don’t think it will be a problem,” Lawlor said.
“He’s been there a couple of times before, but we were riding him out the back and he was just giving away too much start.
“We are riding him a bit differently now and we should have ridden him like that a long time ago.”
Their main dangers in the Sunshine Coast Guineas betting markets are considered to be Roslyn Pratt’s Queensland Guineas graduate Palmera Lad ($5) and the Robert Heathcote-trained Gunsynd winner Hopfgarten ($6.50).
To get behind Lawlor’s favourite in the Sunshine Coast Race 5 on Saturday at the best odds visit Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering $5.50 for both Architect AND Hopgarten, so if either one wins you win up to $50!