James McDonald was at home in New Zealand when Foxwedge had his last start, the kiwi apprentice watched on as the colt looked home for all money but was pipped at the post by a fast finishing Smart Missile.
Despite that loss in the Run To The Rose though he remains confident he can turn the tables on his unbeaten rival this weekend in the main event Golden Rose at Rosehill Gardens.
McDonald has based himself in Sydney for the duration of the week working for the John O’Shea stables.
He’s yet to ride him in a race so far however he has built a strong relationship with the horse in the training paddock.
That continued during trackwork yesterday and McDonald says the horse is feeling better than ever.
“He galloped the best he’s galloped for me, I work him every week before he runs and he’s definitely on the way up and ready to peak on Saturday,” he said.
He says that the plan will be virtually identical to what it was last start, they’ll settle somewhere near the pace and then try and push through on the straight and hold their ground.
“On Saturday he’ll be in the first three and hopefully we’ll get a good trip…he’s definitely capable of taking the Roses out,” he said.
“He extended beautifully, he’s fit and he’s a happy horse at the moment.”
As for the re-match with his last start conqueror, McDonald says the tables are ready to turn.
“He’s definitely capable of beating a horse like Smart Missile if the tactics are right on the day,” he said.
Having only the six horses in the race though is a concern with Foxwedge better suited with more traffic in between him and the back markers.
“I would have preferred a bigger field especially for a horse like him who races on the speed,” he said.
“It’s a pretty hot field and I wouldn’t rule out Helmet in behind.
“It’s going to be a good run and any of the five can take it out.”