Despite a wide barrier draw in Saturday’s 2016 Dane Ripper Stakes jockey James McDonald is bullish about his chances of saluting for the punters aboard the odds-on favourite Ghisoni.
There are 14 fillies and mares left in the mix for the $200,000 Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) on Stradbroke Handicap Day at Eagle Farm Racecourse on the weekend with the John O’Shea-trained filly the dominant top fancy at Ladbrokes.com.au.
After an impressive 1.3 length win in her Brisbane debut a fortnight ago to take out the Group 3 Glenlogan Park Stakes (1350m) at Doomben, Lonhro three-year-old Ghisoni is odds-on to win again on Saturday.
She pays $1.65 for the Dane Ripper and McDonald believes she is worthy of the price.
“I can’t see her being beaten to be honest,” he told Racing Victoria.
The top Sydney-based hoop has been aboard for all but one of the filly’s six career starts to date including her four turf triumphs.
Winner of the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Randwick in late February for her first Black-Type success, Ghisoni was sixth to the ill-fated Peeping next run in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) beaten under two and a half lengths.
She was also ultra-competitive against the boys in the Group 2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) on Day 2 of ‘The Championships’ when crossing only 1.3 lengths away fifth to the Chris Waller-trained Group 1 winner Japonisme in the race.
After a freshen-up she headed to Queensland to take out the Glenlogan Park Stakes from barrier 10 of 10 carrying 57kg.
She continues her Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival raid on Saturday and is drawn wide again coming in from barrier 14 to 13 after the early scratching of Elusive Catch (11), which isn’t a bad thing according to McDonald.
“They tried to make me work early last start and she still won easy,” he explained.
“I think drawing wide is a good thing, I can take my time, stay out of trouble and just put her where she is comfortable.
“If I have to go forward and lead I’m happy, if they want to go quick and kick up underneath, I think she will be more effective if I can find a spot to relax.
“Eagle Farm should be more to her liking too, it isn’t as tight as Doomben so I won’t have to rush her.”
McDonald is on a plane to Europe soon and Straddie Day is his final book of rides down under before the trip, so he’s hoping to cap things off with a win or two including on Ghisoni in the key Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) lead-up.
He also has rides in all four Group 1s on the card riding Souchez in the JJ Atkins, Etymology in the Queensland Derby, Delectation in the Stradbroke Handicap and Ambience in the Queensland Oaks.
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