Racing New South Wales Stewards have accepted a late application for the Darren Weir trained Palentino to wear blinkers in the Group 1 $1m Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Weir had signalled earlier in the week that Palentino would wear the blinkers after working in them at Coleraine on Monday.
But at acceptance time on Tuesday the Weir stable had failed to add the head gear to the $6 second favourite’s race day gear list.
Racing NSW stewards released the following statement this morning that Palentino would wear the blinkers after the stable had made the application.
“Racing NSW Stewards have acceded to an application from the Darren Weir stable this morning at approximately 8:30am to add BLINKERS to the approved gear of PALENTINO, an acceptor for the TAB Epsom Handicap at Royal Randwick on Saturday (1st October). Mr Weir has advised Stewards that since its last start win in the Group 1 Makybe Diva, the entire had become unusually stirred up in its work. Mr Weir further advised the entire has since worked in blinkers and pleased the stable in a gallop last Monday where it relaxed, proved more tractable and showed greater focus during this exercise.”
“He went well in them. No problems. It just might help on Saturday,” Weir told the Herald Sun.
Palentino’s two Group 1 wins were at Flemington, the $750,000 Australian Guineas during the 2016 Melbourne Autumn Carnival and the $500,000 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes on September 10 and both were over 2016, the same distance as the Epsom.
The four year old chestnut with the ear muffs on was able to run down the more fancied stablemate Black Heart Bart last start in the Makybe Diva Stakes with Black Heart Bart then going on to win the Group 1 $500,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
Palentino has drawn barrier nine in the thirteen horse Epsom field with Makybe Diva Stakes winning jockey Mark Zahra in the saddle again.
Bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have Palentino equal second favourite at $6 with the Chris Waller trained McCreery behind the John O’Shea trained Hauraki who heads the market order for the Epsom at $5.50.
Market order for The Epsom at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5.50 Hauraki, $6 Palentino, McCreery, $8 Fabrizio, $8.50 Happy Clapper, $11 Mackintosh, $13 Le Romain, $15 Sons Of John, $16 Heavens Above, $19 Vanbrugh, $21 Torgersen, $31 Dibayani, $41 Mighty Lucky.