After battling with their jockey Chris Symons for a below par run in Flemington last start, the Ken Sweeney-trained Group 1 performer Riziz will be looking to atone in the Sir John Monash Stakes 2014 this weekend.
Symons retains the mount on the Zariz gelding, the five-year-old Adelaide galloper one of nine sprinters in this Saturday’s $135,000 Group 3 Polytrack Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield Racecourse.
The multiple stakes winner was last seen running 10th when beaten four lengths by Lonhspresso in the Listed The Straight Six (1200m) on May 24.
It was a disappointing performance and one their Morphettville-based trainer Sweeney cannot explain.
“He normally goes well there [at Flemington] so I’m not sure what happened,” he told The Advertiser.
Before their Straight Six failure Riziz was in red hot form at home winning back-to-back Adelaide races including the Listed Matrice Stakes (1200m).
That lead to a Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) run where they finished one and a quarter lengths off the upset 40-1 winner Smokin’ Joey.
After failing to reproduce that form at Flemington, Sweeney hopes Riziz gives Symons an easier ride in the Monash and can bounce back.
“Chris (Symons) and him had a bit of a fight,” Sweeney said speaking of the Straight Six run.
“He wanted to go one way and Chris wanted to go the other so things didn’t really turn out as planned.”
The Sir John Monash is Riziz’s maiden look at Caulfield, and they go into the race on the back of a winning 1000m trial at Morphettville from June 20 where Clare Lindop had the reins.
“We just gave him the trial because as he hadn’t raced for a while and there isn’t a lot else I can do with him,” Sweeney explained.
On Saturday Symons and Riziz have barrier eight in a top field that includes the Robbie Laing-trained duo of promising colt Lord Of The Sky and known wet track performer Mr Make Believe.
Also in the mix is a host of others coming via the Straight Six including runner-up Le Bonsir.
Mick Price’s six-year-old Choisir gelding backed up from that narrow loss to run fourth as the beaten favourite at Moonee Valley on June 21, just over half a length between them and the winner.
They had a run on the course proper at Caulfield on Tuesday morning, galloping with two-year-old Berlutti, and ran a nice 52.5 over 800m.
On Saturday apprentice hoop Jordan Childs will be replaced by Daniel Moor, the pair drawn well in barrier two.
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