Broadmeadow trainer Kris Lees is unsure if an inside barrier will be any advantage for the chances of Thump in the Listed $150,000 Crowe Horwath Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton today.
Thump will jump from barrier three in the sixteen horse field and Lees will have to wait to see how the inside of the track is racing before he gives his final riding instructions to Glen Colless.
“Hopefully the inside is fine and she can make good use of the gate, but it’s hard to get a reading on any track at the moment,” Lees told The Daily Telegraph.
The Grafton track was been rated a Good 4 on race morning with the chance of a possible shower later in the day.
Thump’s pattern of racing is to settle in the first half a dozen and if the track is playing fair Colless will be able to give the Red Ransom mare the run of the race just behind the leaders.
Lees considers this year’s Ramornie Handicap not as strong as previous years, giving Thump a great chance to pick up another black type race before she heads to the breeding barn in the Spring.
“She’s tackled pretty good company throughout her career and I’d like to think probably a notch or so above what she faces here,” Lees said.
The well performed Thump will be heading back to the breeding barn again this Spring after failing to get into foal last year.
Thump is a winner twice at Group 2 level at Warwick Farm as a three year old with victories in the 2013 $175,000 Coolmore Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) and in the 2014 $175,000 Surround Stakes (1400m).
But the four year old mare had little luck at the highest level and was unplaced at her four attempts in Group 1 company.
“There’s a chance she could be retired after this or we might look at giving her one run early in the spring before she goes to stud,” Lees said.
“She’s performed consistently at a good level her whole career.”
“She was placed in a Sweet Embrace Stakes as a two-year-old, won the Silver Shadow first-up as a spring three-year-old, the Surround Stakes as an autumn three-year-old and then the Triscay Stakes first-up this autumn after failing to get into foal last season.”
Thump has proven in the past that she races well fresh and Lees has no concern that she hasn’t raced for a month when she lines up in the Ramornie Handicap this afternoon.
“She goes well fresh and loves the 1200m,” Lees said.
“Three of her four wins have been over the trip. The 32 days in between runs won’t be an issue for her and she showed last start that she’s racing well.”
Thump has been solid in the betting since the final field was released on Monday and has been steady at $7 behind the firming $3.50 favourite I’ve Got The Looks and $6.50 chance Barbed.
Ramornie Handicap market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 I’ve Got The Looks, $6.50 Barbed, $7 Thump, $8 Le Cap, $11 Turbulent Jet, $12 Rocket To Glory, Bound For Earth, $15 Timeless Prince, $17 Fare Well, $19 Rock Royalty, $21 Territory, $26 Final Cresendo, $26 Malavio, $34 Nothing Like Luca, Single Chance, $91 Curely Mac.