Pondarosa Miss has been included in the 2015 Ballarat Cup field and trainer Jason Bridgman is hopeful that the talented mare can return to her best form in the Listed event at Ballarat on Saturday.
Pondarosa Miss took out the Group 1 Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie on April 18 and she was far from disgraced in both the Group 1 Ormond Memorial Handicap (2040m) at Hastings on October 3 and the Listed Rotorua Plate (1950m) at Arawa Park on October 17, but she beat home just a single runner when she made her Australian racing debut in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 7.
Jockey Dwayne Dunn elected to settle Pondarosa Miss right on the speed in the Matriarch Stakes and Bridgman told Racing Ahead this morning that was not the usual racing pattern of the High Chaparral mare.
Bridgman believes that Pondarosa Miss is much better suited in the Ballarat Cup and he is confident that the five-year-old can produced a much improved performance this week.
“It was upside down for her,” Bridgman said.
“It was no fault of Dwayne’s, Dwayne is a very good rider, he had seen her videos and seen that she had bombed the start a fair few times in New Zealand a fair few times and he just thought he would have her a bit more awake.
“She jumped a bit too good, there was no speed in the race and from that gate she ended up a victim of circumstance and it is not really her style.
“That being said she didn’t really travel well coming over and if anything she only really perked up in the last few days before that run.
“That run has brought her on and her work since has been very good.
“This week we have a much better draw and we can get back to her own running style.
“With the improvement that we have seen we should see a reversal of form.
“If she can run to that best form, at the weights and in this kind of race she will be very competitive.”
Ponderosa Miss is currently available at 2015 Ballarat Cup odds of $15 with Ladbrokes, while Ungrateful Ellen ($5.50) remains a clear favourite from Akzar ($9), Sysmo ($9.50), Mujadale ($10), Index Linked ($13), Maygrove ($14), Zayam ($14), Prince Cheri ($15), Sonntag ($15) and Don Doremo ($15).