A resounding favourite for the final race on Saturday’s Flemington card, trainer Robert Smerdon is wary of both an inside draw and a talented field ahead of classy sprinter Reldas’ maiden tilt at a straight race in the Domain Handicap (1200m).
Returning to racing in scintillating form this season, Reldas ran a credible third amongst classy company in a minor over 1200m first-up on December 5th and will be aiming for a third-consecutive race win on Saturday after taking out each of the Sitetech Solutions BM70 (1200m) and Sportingbet BM78 (1200m) most recently.
Understandably thrilled with the form and class displayed by the son of Testa Rossa this time in, Smerdon told Racing Ahead he isn’t 100% convinced of success this weekend, owing to several possibilities of racing down the straight.
“It’s bit of a unique surface as we know, the straight, and I’m not quite sure how effective he’ll be at it,” Smerdon said.
“They tend to go steady and quicken home and for a horse who gets off the speed, it’s not an ideal racing style.
“The speed map doesn’t look that great for him, there’s not much speed and he’s back on the inside, but you’ve got to find out how effective he is up the straight and that’s something we’ll learn about him. But he’s in good shape.”
Yet to map out a path for the four-year-old beyond his Flemington tilt of Saturday, Smerdon is confident the decision to geld Reldas at the conclusion of his autumn campaign in 2014 has meant the difference in a sharp turn in form this year.
“Having home gelding has turned him around and he’s produced his potential this time around,” he added.
“We always liked him, but I think the fact leaving him an entire as long as we did was a mistake.”
Securing four wins and as many minor places from his ten competitive appearances on course to date, Reldas with be partnered by regular jockey Nick Hall in the Domain Handicap and will leave from barrier 2.
Offered at a quote of $1.80 for success with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au, Reldas will have to find an extra gear if to overcome the likes of the in-form Qfighter in the Domain Handicap on Saturday.
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