Trainer Jason Coyle will put the blinkers back on Office Bearer to give him another chance to find the winner’s stall in the Listed $160,000 Crowe Horwath Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton on Wednesday.
Office Bearer. who was formerly trained by Peter Moody, is a winner of five races from twenty-seven starts, winning two of them with the blinkers on, but hasn’t won a race since wearing the hood to victory in the Listed $120,000 Sky High Mt Dandenong Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield in May, 2014.
Coyle took the blinkers off the six year old stallion after a first up sixth in the Listed $100,000 IPG Connect Chief De Beers Handicap (1050m) at Doomben on May 21 at the start of his current campaign for the new trainer hoping for a form reversal.
Office Bearer showed glimpses of his old form with a fourth to Marenostro in a 1400m Rosehill Open Handicap on June 4 followed by a fourth to Mount Nebo in the 1200m Winter Dash at Randwick on June 25.
But another below par effort last start which saw Office Bearer finish eighth to Ninth Legion in the Listed $100,000 Civic Stakes (1350m) at Rosehill on July 2 prompted Coyle to give the blinkers another go.
“It’s the last hurrah, his last chance,” Coyle said.
“Going into Wednesday I cannot fault him. He looks outstanding, is working well but I thought he’d be very hard to beat last time and couldn’t work out why he didn’t fire a shot.
“Then you look in the book and see he’s a six-year-old stallion.
“That’s why I think the Ramornie is a good race for him. A trip away, back to the sprint trip in a high pressure race.”
Andrew Gibbons takes over the reins from regular rider Kathy O’Hara on Office Bearer (barrier 9) who will also race in a tongue tie again.
Office Bearer is rated as one of the outsiders of the field at $20 at Ladbrokes.com.au, but the six year old has some admirers after firming in from $31 which was on offer early in the betting.
The John O’Shea trained Mogador heads the market at $4.60 ahead of Into The Red at $5.50 and Mount Nebo at $6.
Ramornie Handicap market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.60 Mogador, $5.50 Into The Red, $6 Mount Nebo, $7.50 Big Money, $10 Tina Melina, $14 Rock Royalty, $15 Steel Zip, $16 Executed, $17 Hardline, $18 Smart Volatility, $19 Decision Time, $20 Echo Gal, Office Bearer, $34 Crooked Blaze, Crossroad, Londehero, $51 Slots, $61 Power Receiver, $91 Finishing Card.