Trainer Clinton McDonald is hopeful that veteran gelding Finishing Card can record his first race win in over a year in the Leonard Handicap (1410m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Finishing Card has raced well since returning to the races in December, finishing a fair seventh behind Espirt De Bullet in the Red Tempo Handicap (1000m) at Flemington and third in the Tim Sando Handicap (1200m) at Caulfield, but has not entered the winners stall since he took out the Swettenham Stud Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day in 2012.
McDonald told Racing Ahead this morning that he has been happy with the form of Finishing Card this preparation and believes he is a chance of breaking his winning drought this weekend.
“He is a horse that comes back in this time of year and finds form,” McDonald said.
“Through the autumn he seems to lose a bit of ability, but when he takes back through Christmas and the New Year he seems to pull out good runs.
“He has come through the race in good order.
“His third and fourth runs are probably his best runs and then he has the tendency to tamper off.
“He drops eight kilos on his last start, Patrick Moloney is in good form and hopefully he gets a good run from that barrier.”
Finishing Card has shown a great deal of versatility throughout his racing career and has won races when ridden on the pace as well as when he has been forced to come from the back of the field.
The Platinum Scissors gelding has drawn the outside barrier for the Leonard Handicap, but McDonald does not think that will be a problem for the seven-year-old and he expects him to settle towards the tail of the field.
“You can race him forward but I think his best style is being ridden a little bit quiet early and given a chance to finish the race off,” McDonald said.
“From that barrier, I think that we will doing that again tomorrow.
“We just need to find a bum somewhere and hopefully he can finish off strongly.”
Finishing Card is currently rated a $21 chance in 2014 Leonard Handicap betting markets; with Mick Price-trained Mandla ($2.90) a clear favourite from Pillar Of Creation ($7), Decircles ($7.50) and Infinite Energy ($7.50).