Top fancy Into The Red has drawn nicely at barrier two for the Listed $160,000 Crowe Horwath Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton on Wednesday.
The final makeup of the Ramornie Handicap saw a capacity field of sixteen sprinters plus four emergencies listed with Into The Red likely to jump from barrier two if second reserve Crooked Blaze, barrier one, fails to gain a start.
Into The Red has regained his winning form with victories at two of his last three starts and heads to Grafton as a last start winner over Saluter and Ramornie Handicap rival Mogador in the Group 3 $175,000 W.J. Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm on June 25.
Trainer Kelso Wood said that Into The Red has always shown plenty of ability in his two and three year old seasons and was glad to see him back in the winner’s stall with a first up win in the Listed $100,000 Bribie Handicap (1050m) at Doomben on April 16 after a long enforced lay off due to injury.
“This horse has always had a lot of ability but he has always been immature in the head and did things wrong,” Wood told The Daily Examiner.
“He did a pastern ligament and had six months off last year and that break allowed him to mature.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to Grafton – it’s been a while but I think I have the right horse to win another Ramornie.”
Wood said that he was happy to stick with Luke Dittman who has been aboard Into The Red for his last three starts.
“He’s great young jockey and he knows the horse well – I couldn’t take him off,” Wood said.
Dittman has just entered the senior riding ranks in Brisbane and has ridden forty-three metropolitan winners for the 2015 – 2016 racing season.
Last start beaten favourite Mogador has also drawn favourably at gate five and will be on the minimum again with 54kg, meeting Into The Red 2kg better off after being beaten five and a half when third in the Healy Stakes.
Sydney based jockey Brenton Avdulla takes over from Robbie Fradd on the John O’Shea trained Mogador who was caught in the worse part of the track but still went to the line stoutly at the end of the 1200m to fill the minor placing.
The Allan Denham trained Mount Nebo is also racing in fine form and heads to Grafton on the back of a win in a 1200m Randwick Handicap on June 25.
Mount Nebo has drawn worse than midfield at barrier eleven with Brisbane based Group 1 winning jockey Glen Colless to ride.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Echo Gal drew barrier six while the 2014 Ramornie Handicap winner and top weight Big Money drew wide at fourteen with Robert Thompson to ride.