Trainer Chris Waller is confident that enigmatic galloper Index Linked is well placed to return to the winners stall in the Comic Court Handicap (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Index Linked has had seven starts since returning to the races in September and has recorded only two wins, despite starting the majority of his events as a well-backed favourite.
The Dansili gelding resumed with a disappointing seventh placed finish behind Hosting at Rosehill Gardens on September 14 and laid in up the straight when second behind Leebaz at the Randwick Kensington track on October 7.
Index Linked did everything wrong in the Bartier Perry Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 19, missing the start and over racing, but was still able to record a narrow victory and made it two in a row with a win over The Offer in the Blacktown Workers Club Handicap (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens a fortnight later.
The five-year-old was extremely well-backed in the lead-up to the Cruise Guru Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on November 9 but missed the start and was upset by Capital Commander before producing the worst performance of his campaign in a Benchmark 85 Handicap on November 23.
Index Linked returned to a semblance of his best form with a second place finish behind Solemn in the Horsepower Sweetfeed Handicap (1800m) in Sydney and Waller told Racing Ahead that the gelding is ready to step-up to 2000 metres for the first time since making his racing debut in Australia.
“He has been a bit of an enigma and that is why we haven’t stepped him up to 2000 metres until tomorrow,” Waller said.
“He just over races a touch but he has been getting better with each run.
“He finishes his races off well and looks well placed tomorrow.”
Index Linked has already had seven starts this preparation but Waller believes that the imported galloper is still fresh but requires a fair bit of work between races because of his hefty frame
“He is actually quite a gross horse so we don’t miss him on the training track so he probably does a little more than what most of our runners do,” Waller said.
Punters may have been burned by Index Linked this preparation but he has still been well-backed and is currently a clear favourite in Comic Court Handicap betting markets.