Newcastle based Group 1 winner Atomic Force will head to Melbourne later in this week to prepare for the upcoming Melbourne Spring Carnival feature sprints.
Trainer Darren Smith said that Atomic Force had pulled up very well after his first solid hit out since recovering from a minor leg injury and will be sending the gelding to Caulfield to take advantage of the first class training facilities.
Atomic Force with regular rider Nash Rawiller went around in an 830m Randwick barrier trial yesterday beating Epsom Handicap winner Secret Admirer and even though it was his second trial this preparation, Smith said it was his first solid hit out since he was back in work.
“Even though it was his second trial, it was his first real good gallop this time in,” Smith said.
“He had an active splint that came up, he went a little bit lame on it so we had to back off him and give him a chance to get over it.”
“I couldn’t be happier with the horse. The horse is really well, he’s sound, he’s got plenty of condition on him and sooner than later he will be heading to Melbourne.”
Even with Black Caviar being announced a Spring absentee, Smith said there was still plenty of top class sprinters heading to Melbourne.
“I think there are a few other hard ones as well as her,” Smith said.
Rawiller had a glowing report for the Galaxy winner after the trial, saying his action was fine and he went to the line with something in hand.
“He began very well and then just switched in behind the leader of Clarry Conners. I think it will do his confidence the world of good coming back from injury,” Rawiller said.
“Today he went through his gears and let down and obviously won the trial with a little bit in hand. I would have liked something to have been chasing me a bit closer to the line but he feels good, he did everything right today and I couldn’t be happier.”
Rawiller was aboard Atomic Force in his two Group 1 victories, the 2011 $350,000 The James Boag Galaxy (1100m) at Randwick in the Autumn and the NZ$200,000 Blandford Lodge Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellersile, New Zealand on January 1.
Smith said that Rawiller would have first choice to ride Atomic Force but knows he might have to look elsewhere if the Sydney rider was required for stable duties with Gai Waterhouse.
“Gai comes first. We will shop around Nash,” Smith said.
Atomic Force will kick off his Spring at either Moonee Valley over 1000m on August 25 or the following week in the Listed $120,000 The Heath (1100m) at Caulfield.
The rising seven year old will then follow a path that will lead to the Group 1 $500,000 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 26 and the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on the final day of Melbourne Cup week.