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Lindsay Park’s Sandown Guineas winner from last Spring Petrology is tipped to make a new-season return in the Bletchingly Stakes 2015 at the end of the month.
The David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Fastnet Rock colt hasn’t raced since a disappointing 12th behind Wandjina in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington back in early March.
A rising four-year-old who has won three of his 12 starts to date, Petrology looks spot on for a return in the $150,000 Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield Racecourse on July 25 after a nice piece of trackwork at Flemington on Friday morning.
A dual stakes winner in Melbourne, the young horse’s latest victory was the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) at Sandown-Hillside last November that he won by two and a quarter lengths over Stratum Star as a 12/1 shot.
After a spell he returned at the same track in late January and looked to have come back in fine form with a first-up second to Java in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1300m).
From there however he failed to fire when stepped up to elite level company running ninth to Dissident in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) beaten six lengths in mid-February and the Guineas 12th when beaten the same margin in his last official appearance.
Petrology was put through his places in an 800m jumpout at Flemington on Friday morning and pleased Hayes & Dabernig when second behind the Leon & Troy Corstens-trained What A Hoot.
Seven days previously Petrology had his first hit-out of the season when second to stablemate Tawtee, co-trainer Dabernig now convinced he is ready for a July return hopefully in the Bletchingly.
“He went well, his last 150 metres was quite solid, and he’ll probably kick off in two weeks in the Bletchingly Stakes,” Hayes’s nephew told Racing Victoria.
“He jumped out here last week as well and he looks in great order.
“He had a nice spell, he had that time where we turned him out and gave him a good break, and he’s come back in really good order.”
Dabernig confirmed plans to run through the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival’s early weight-for-age events over 1400 – 1600m, and that a mile was probably his best distance despite the failed Guineas run in the autumn.
“He’s a horse that doesn’t like it too firm, so in early Spring we’ll probably get that lovely ground with a bit of give in it that he likes,” he said.
“He’s the sort of horse who, probably between 1400 and a mile is his right distance.
“He’ll place himself as we go along, but he definitely gives us the impression he’s got a good race in him.”
Likely assignments for Petrology after the Bletchingly Stakes include the $200,000 Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 15, a race Gig backed up from a Bletchingly Stakes second to run third behind Star Rolling in last year, and the opening elite level of the season the $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) back at the track a fortnight later.
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