Jockey Brenton Avdulla has revealed that he expects to take up a forward position on Thump in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Avdulla will be riding Thump for the first time since she finished seventh in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, but he steered the Red Ransom mare to victory in a barrier trial over 900 metres at Rosehill Gardens on July 21.
The rising hoop told Racing Ahead that Thump gave him a good feel in the barrier trial and he expects the four-year-old to show plenty of early speed when she jumps from barrier nine with the blinkers on in the Missile Stakes this weekend.
“She is a really nice mare,” Avdulla said.
“I haven’t had a lot to do with her, but I trailed her for the first time not long ago and she gave me a really nice feel.
“She trialed without the blinkers and she only did what she had to.
“The blinkers come on raceday and there doesn’t look to be a lot of speed in the race, so she probably gets to be one or two in the run.
“She is pretty forward, I think she is going well and I think that she will be in it for a long way.
“It is always a bonus when you can get on these horses and have a bit of a feel for them before you get to the races.
“From the feel she gave me, on Saturday I’m sure that she will be putting herself prominent in the run and she will be running a good race.”
Thump will be forced to take on the older horses in the Missile Stakes, but has previous experience at weight-for-age level after finishing eighth in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley earlier this year.
Avdulla believes that Thump has the quality to be competitive in open company during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and he feels that connections will get an excellent idea where the four-year-old is at after she runs in the Missile Stakes.
“She has always raced in elite company, which is always a good sign and her last runs were in open weight-for-age Group 1 or Group 2 races,” Avdulla said.
“She was only beaten two and a half lengths behind Spirit Of Boom in the William Reid and I think she gets her chance on Saturday to see where she is amongst these better sort horses.”
Thump is currently available at Missile Stakes odds of $10; with Sweet Idea ($3.70) still a narrow favourite from Rebel Dane ($3.80).