Top class weight for age performer Contributer breezed through an early morning gallop at Moonee Valley today in his lead up to his return to the race track in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at the tight turning track on Saturday.
Contributer was having his first look at the uniquely shaped Moonee Valley circuit and Godolphin’s head trainer John O’Shea was very pleased with the way he strode over 1200m, working home the last 400m in 24.3s.
“That’s what I wanted to see. It wasn’t a gallop to run time, it was more important to let him get a feel for the track at a gallop,” O’Shea said.
“He had a nice day out and most importantly he got around the track really well and kicked off the bend and got to the line beautifully so I was really happy with the work.”
“Mentally he’s very good and he’s developed into a magnificent specimen. He’s probably 20kg heavier and he’s going to race at that on Saturday and it isn’t a fat 20kg, he looks ready to go so hopefully that reflects in his performance.
“He’s got nice improvement to come from whatever he does on Saturday but he’s got a good foundation going into Saturday and I’m really happy with him.
“He’s been competitive in all of his first-up runs in Australia and I’m sure he’ll be competitive on Saturday.”
Contributer proved to be one the star weight for age performers of the 2015 Sydney Autumn Carnival with three undefeated runs in the Group 2 $250,000 Optus Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick, the Group 1 $500,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm and in the Group 1 $500,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill.
But O’Shea had to call an early end to the English import’s Autumn after he developed some lameness and missed out on a start in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick.
James McDonald steered Contributer to his three Autumn Carnival wins but is required to ride the Godolphin runners in Sydney at the Chelmsford Stakes Race Day at Randwick on Saturday, opening the way for top Melbourne jockey Dwayne Dunn to snare the plum ride this weekend.
“James McDonald is our number one rider obviously and when he is available to ride the horse he’ll take the ride,” O’Shea said.
“We need an experienced jockey to give him a lovely ride on Saturday and Dwayne Dunn is the right man for the job.”
Contributer has been installed as the short priced favourite for his return to racing in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes on Saturday with Ladbrokes.com.au opening up the six year old in the red at $1.85 with P.B. Lawrence Stakes quinella Mourinho and The Cleaner sharing the second line of betting at $7.
Contributer is also the early $9 favourite for the Group 1 $3m William Hill Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.