While yet to be tested at the distance, trainer Henry Dwyer is confident Saturday’s Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (3200m) at Flemington is more than within the abilities of Group 1 winner Sonntag.
Sonntag undoubtedly found career-best form to date over the 2014 winter, but failed to make anything of an impact over four black type starts upon resuming this time, forcing Dwyer to scrap plans of an appearance in the Group1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on Day 2 of The Championships.
“He just wasn’t quite measuring up to those better class of stayers at the time,” Dwyer told AAP.
“I’d be interested to see if we had have persevered with that preparation where he would have finished (in the Sydney Cup) given it was run on a wet track which would have suited him.
“But we abandoned that pretty early and just lowered our sights a bit and this is where we ended up.
Having returned to the winner’s circle in the Macau Handicap over 2800m at Flemington a fortnight ago, Dwyer has been pleased with the condition of the Teofilo gelding in recent weeks and said that while slightly worse off at the weights than his last start in the 2015 Andrew Ramsden, he is confident he will run out the trip.
“He’s probably a little bit worse off at the weights this time but he was quite strong at the end of the 2800 metres so I’d imagine the extra 400 metres will benefit him as much as any of the other horses,” he said.
“So it probably equals itself out with the weights.
“He’s proven at the class so the class isn’t an issue. The distance shouldn’t be an issue, it’s just the 60 kilos. He’s only a little horse, and the relative weights to a horse like Crafty Cruiser who gets in better.”
Posting five wins and two minors over his 16 career starts so far, Sonntag booked a trip to the 2014 Brisbane Winter Carnival following an impressive run of results in late autumn, including a 1.5 length win in the ALH Group Handicap (2000m).
Jumping from the gates well in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m), Sonntag received an ideal run in transit and mustered an impressive turn of foot to break through for a maiden win at the highest level.
The 2015 Andrew Ramsden Stakes final field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday today.
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