Randwick-based trainer John Thompson will saddle-up Canny Ballad at Rosehill Gardens this weekend for the galloper’s first run under his care with an eye on a Wyong Cup 2015 start in September.
A winner of five of his 26 starts to date, Canny Ballad lines-up for Thompson for the first time on Saturday with a decision pending on which race to start the Dream Ballad five-year-old in.
“I’m not sure yet which race he will run in,” Thompson told AAP.
Canny Ballad, previously prepared by the late Guy Walter and more recently Joe Pride, is a dual nominee on the Rosehill card with entries in the $100,000 Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) and an $85,000 Benchmark 90 Handicap over 1200m.
Winner of the Listed Albury Gold Cup (2000m) narrowly in March last year, Canny Ballad hasn’t won a race since but was competitive in last September’s $150,00 Listed Wyong Gold Cup (2100m) when runner-up behind Multilateral as a 12/1 shot.
A string of unplaced runs followed and he hasn’t raced since a failed 14th behind It’s Somewhat in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Warwick Farm in late February.
The galloper is yet to win first-up from five previous resuming runs, something Thompson hopes he can change this weekend as he heads towards a second Wyong Gold Cup attempt on September 4.
“We are aiming up at the Wyong Cup so I’ll have a good think about his program,” he said.
“He has done well and ran second at Wyong last year.”
Leading into Saturday’s return Canny Ballad has had two trials for Thompson including a second over 1175m at Warwick Farm on July 10 that has his new trainer confident of a good run or two this time in.
If he goes into the Black-Type this weekend with a Winter Cup run, Canny Ballad will get in on the 54kg minimum while he will have 59kg on his back in the Benchmark race with Commands seven-year-old Oakfield Commands allocated the hefty 63kg top weight.
Other notable Winter Cup entries this season include the first four over the line in the Listed Civic Stakes (1350m) at Rosehill on July 4: the Godolphin-raced winner Haussmann (1st), in-form mare Two Blue (2nd), third placed veteran See The World (3rd) for Pride and the Chris Waller-trained Rugged Cross (4th).
Prepared by John O’Shea, Civic Stakes winner Haussmann is out to repeat the feat of another Godolphin galloper Generalife who completed last winter’s Civic Stakes – Winter Stakes double.
He is allocated 57kg on Saturday, which is a full three kilos more than his Civic Stakes winning weight when the Commands five-year-old had a neck to spare on the line.
Stay tuned for all the latest on the Winter Stakes, one of two Black-Types running this weekend along with the Tattersall’s Mile in Brisbane.
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