Trainer Colin Scott has put the blinkers back on Speediness in an attempt to get the four year old back to winning form at Randwick on Saturday.
Scott said Speediness had plenty of excuses last start when he ran a disappointing seventh to the Gai Waterhouse trained Niagara in the Group 2 $175,000 Hyland Race Colours Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 31 and is looking for a marked improvement on the weekend.
With the blinkers back on and the booking of top Melbourne jockey Craig Williams in the Group 3 $125,000 BMW Doncaster Mile Prelude (1600m), Scott expects Speediness to bounce back to his best and temp him towards some bigger goals at the end of the carnival.
Scott tested the blinkers out at trackwork at Scone during the week when Speediness lined up against the Greg Bennett trained Charm’s Harbour and he was happy with the result.
“Both worked exceptionally on the outside of the course proper,” Scott said.
“I galloped him in blinkers and he went outstanding.
“I also had him vetted that afternoon just to tick all the boxes.”
Scott also had to keep an eye on an injured hoof after Speediness pulled a shoe off along with some of his hoof in the Ajax.
“I was bitterly disappointed after the Ajax and I said to the owners that something had to be wrong,” Scott said.
“It turned out he pulled a shoe during the race and it was the off-fore shoe which is his Sydney lead leg.”
“In losing the shoe he pulled quite a bit of hoof off and that’s probably the reason he hung in so badly.”
“He also had a bit of muscle soreness over his hindquarters. So he had a few excuses that day and we’ve worked through them and everything is spot-on.”
Speediness isn’t nominated for the Group 1 $2m Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick next week but a start in the Group 1 $500,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick the week after is on the cards if he shows a return to form.
Scott said that his four year old would need to win or be very unlucky to warrant a start in the Group 1 in two weeks with the alternative being a spell and be prepared for the Spring.
Williams is no stranger to the Victorian and has two wins on the gelding in the early part of his career at Sale and Sandown.
The Doncaster Prelude looks to be a wide betting race with the Bart Cummings trained Illo coming up the equal favourite with Fast Clip at $7.50 with Speediness on the third line of betting at $9.