Nigel Blackiston concedes that Inside Agent faces a tough task in overcoming the talented 2017 Australian Guineas field, but believes that the horse is not without a chance in the Flemington feature race.
Inside Agent has only made six appearances at the races since making his competitive debut in early spring, but the colt has gained plenty admirers included Blackiston, who rates the horse a serious Group 1 contender.
“This horse has a lot of natural, raw ability. He’s possibly a preparation or two behind some of the other runners and he’ll get there eventually. Hopefully he’s there about on Saturday,” Blackiston told Racing Ahead.
“We’re just trying to keep him concentrating as best we can. He’s a beautiful colt and a beautifully natured horse as well, but he’s just a bit green in himself.
Inside Agent’s chances of being crowned the Australian Guineas winner took a hit when he was allocated the awkward barrier 16, but Blackiston cannot fault his form and revealed that the plan will be to take an early position off pace.
“He’s trained on very well,” Blackiston said.
“Brad Rawiller has been down a few times and has galloped him, and he’s been extremely pleased with his work.
“If the emergencies come out he’ll jump from thirteen or fourteen, but we’ll just have to ride our normal plan – go back and get cover and hopefully he can do similar run to Palentino last autumn.”
Inside Agent didn’t show much upon debuting for sixth in the Alfred Foundation Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on September 17th, but responded in the best way possible to win the Listed Poseidon Stakes (1400m) on October 2nd.
Placing sixth in the Listed Gothic Stakes (1400m) and returned to the paddock after running second behind Souchez in the Listed Hilton Stakes (1400m), the Stravinsky colt has so-far placed eighth in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) and fifth in the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m).
Inside Agent has drifted slightly to 2017 Australian Guineas odds of $20 at Ladbrokes.com.au, having opened at an $18 quote.