Five-year-old Red Excitement will search for his fifth straight win Saturday, however this streak spans back to January last year.
The gelding is one of 13 horses taking on the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Flemington Racecourse, just his second start since being sidelined for ten months due to injury.
Red Excitement won three consecutive handicaps last summer but suffered a bowed tendon injury following his win in the Eatability Handicap (1600m) on February 8. After ten months recuperating, the gelding returned to the track on December 20 in the Drummond Golf Handicap (1400m) – just having enough to score on the line a head in front of Burbero despite carrying the top weight of 61kg.
He will luckily only carry 58.5kg in the 2015 Chester Manifold Stakes but trainer Gerald Ryan realises he’ll need to consider weight-for-age Group races for Red Excitement if he wins on Saturday.
“Now that he’s won four in a row, he’s getting to that stage where he had 61kg last start (in an open handicap) and has 58.5kg on Saturday (in a Listed race),” Ryan told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“If he wins on Saturday where do you go? You might have to go to weight-for-age racing because otherwise he’s going to get weighted out of everything.
“In saying that he’s also got the type of pattern that could suit weight-for-age racing in that you can ride him on the speed, you can ride him from the back, he makes his own luck.
“The only flaw in his armoury is he’s no good on wet tracks.”
Red Excitement opened the Chester Manifold Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au as $4.60 favourite but the market mover’s continued support has seen his price firm to $3.80.
He will have to overcome a wide start from barrier 12 with Brenton Avdulla to ride but Ryan isn’t as concerned about the wide gate as others would be.
“He’s quite an amazing horse in that he seems to go better when he’s covering ground in his races,” he said.
“He’s a horse that carries his head very low and if he’s out in the clear using his action he goes a lot better than when he’s hemmed up in amongst them.
“He’ll probably be midfield and three-wide but as long as he’s three-wide with cover.”
The trainer’s only concern was whether the gelding would settle into his new environment after travelling south from Rosehill Gardens but all seems to be going well.
“The only thing that worries me is the last time we travelled him was to Scone for the Scone Guineas and he didn’t settle in well at all but he has settled down a lot since then,” he said.
“He travelled down on Wednesday night and has settled in well down in Melbourne.”
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