Trainer Robbie Griffiths is confident that Chile Express can return to the winners stall when he contests the Dorevitch Pathology Handicap (1720m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Chile Express started his summer campaign with a strong victory over Felidea and The New Boy in the Emirates Airline Plate (1400m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day but had no luck when fourth in the Great Strides Handicap at Caulfield on November 30.
The Thorn Park gelding drew a poor barrier and was forced to come from the tail of the field; making up good ground to finish fourth behind Loot ‘N’ Run, The Peak and The New Boy, despite their being a clear on-pace bias at Flemington.
Griffiths told Racing Ahead this morning that Chile Express’ effort in the Great Stride Handicap was better than his victory on Melbourne Cup Day and is happy with the five-year-olds form but believes the tough gelding will still need plenty of luck to win from a wide gate this weekend.
“He was fantastic resuming first-up at Flemington when winning and was equally as good, if not better, in his last start,” Griffiths said.
“It suited the horses that were on pace, the horses that were sitting one-two-three finished one-two-three, and his effort to come from the back of the field and run fourth was very good.
“Once again the barrier draw hasn’t been kind to him, because he likes to get cover, but if Dwayne (Dunn) can get into a reasonable spot and he can flow into the race I think that he will be very hard to beat.”
The Dorevitch Pathology Handicap is one of several open races at Flemington tomorrow and Chile Express is currently locked in a firm battle for favoritism with Tony Parker-trained Freshwater Storm; both horses available at odds of $5.50.
Freshwater Storm has been in fantastic form this preparation; winning the Melbourne Parkview Hotel Handicap (1309m) at Stawell on September 30 before recording a dominant two and a half lengths victory in the Subzero Challenge event (1400m) at Caulfield on Thousand Guineas Day.
The One Cool Cat gelding failed to fire in the Subzero Challenge on Crown Oaks Day but returned to his best form with a very impressive three lengths win over Angelology and London Stripe in the Ballymore Stables Handicap (1700m).
Other gallopers that have received support in betting include Post D’France ($6), Minnie Downs ($7) and Stratigraphy ($9).