Sunday at the Sunshine Coast sees the postponed...
Dwayne Dunn will ride classy sprinter Ability in the rescheduled Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Ladbrokes Park on Sunday afternoon.
Ability has been a strong and consistent performer throughout his entire racing career so far, but has undoubtedly improved tenfold since he was gelded in summer and is seeking a fourth-consecutive win when he takes his place in the Bletchingly Stakes field.
Victorian Premiership-winning jockey Craig Williams was slated to ride Ability at Caulfield last weekend, but will be on holidays when the rescheduled race is run and Dunn, who partnered the five-year-old to a sharp win in the Listed All Victorian Sprint Final (1200m) on July 8th, has been recalled to the saddle.
“Having achieved his mission of winning the premiership, Craig’s having a couple of weeks off so it necessitates a jockey change but it will be the bloke who rode him last start and won on him anyway,” trainer Robert Smerdon told AAP.
Trialling well in the lead-up to his current campaign, Ability resumed for a dominant win in the Cafetto BM78 (1000m) on June 3rd; poking clear of Husson Eagle to win the Country Achiever Gerald Egan Handicap (1100m) in his only other start prior to the All Victorian Sprint Final on June 24th.
Smerdon does not believe that the additional eight days between runs will have any bearing on Ability’s performance in the Bletchingly Stakes and revealed that the horse will have a hit-out at Sandown on Wednesday.
“He was three weeks between runs and he’s now going to be four but he’s got the opportunity to go to Sandown on Wednesday morning for a gallop so we’ll take advantage of that,” Smerdon said.
“He’s ticking along really well.
“He worked really well last Tuesday, so he’ll have another hit-out at Sandown on Wednesday and that will keep him ticking over for Sunday.”
Ability undoubtedly faces his biggest test of the campaign under handicap conditions in the Bletchingly Stakes, but Smerdon believes that he is capable of holding his own.
“I think when you look at the ratings of the horses he’ll be coming up against and you consider how he would meet them under handicap conditions, he would be getting quite a bit of weight off horses like Supido and Lankan Rupee,” he said.
“Now you’ve got to give up that and see whether you can beat them on level terms.
“It’s a class test in that regard and depending on how he deals with that will determine what’s next for him.”
Ability was set to jump an $8.50 chance in Bletchingly Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au prior to Saturday’s Caulfield card.
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