Barry Campbell concedes stable star Admiral faces a tough task in overcoming The Cleaner in Wednesday’s Listed Conquering Stakes (1400m) in Launceston but is confident his horse is in the right condition for a successful run.
Admiral has been a standout on the Tasmanian racing circuit since first appearing as a two-year-old in late 2013 but has undoubtedly registered career-best form to date in 2015, which included a win over The Cleaner in the Listed George Adams Plate (1600m) on February 25th.
Admiral will be far closer to The Cleaner in weights than he was during his triumphant George Adams Plate run, but Campbell is confident he has taken plenty of benefit from his return for fifth in the Listed Tasmanian Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on November 18th and is primed for a big performance in the Conquering WFA.
“I’m really pleased with him,” Campbell told RSN.
“He’s probably improved since the Newmarket which you’d expect him to because he’s had a three week break. He was probably always going to want the run in the Newmarket, but he’s come on well.
“We met him at his top and he was on the way up, so it will be a different race on Wednesday night – that was our second-last run of the prep while it was his first.
“You’re an idiot if you think you’re just going to go there and walk it away from The Cleaner, I think we’re about $1 million behind him but he’s a really good horse and I think it will be a terrific race.”
Admiral made a successful transition to black type racing when taking out the Listed Tasmanian Guineas (1600m) on January 11th this year; progressing to second in the Listed Thomas Lyons Stakes (1400m) leading into the George Adams Plate, and returning to the paddock after finishing fifth in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 7th; an event that has undoubtedly figured as the best three-year-old race in 2015.
Campbell confirmed the Mossman gelding will remain in Tasmania this preparation and will head towards the Listed Tasmanian Stakes (1600m) on December 23rd, following Wednesday’s hit-out.
“His next five starts are all in Tassie, they’re all $100,000 and they’re all weight-for-age,” Campbell said.
“He’ll go to the mile after this, then have a freshen-up and go the Thomas Lyons and Mowbray Stakes on Launceston Cup day. They’re all great races for him.”
Admiral is currently rated a $2.15 second-favourite behind The Cleaner to win the Conquering Stakes with Ladbrokes Australia.