They are second pick for the $80,000 Listed Tattersall’s Mile (1600m) at Doomben Racecourse this Saturday and deservingly so according to their Gosford-based trainer Grant Allard who believes Loaded has what it takes to win.
The Flying Nicko five-year-old is one of 14 gallopers engaged to face off in the end of season mile feature, Loaded paying $3.60 in the markets led by the in-form Lucky Hussler ($2.10).
Drawn nicely in gate seven with Timothy Bell to ride, Loaded gets in on the 54kg minimum which is a nice drop back from the 57kg they have carried to victory in their two most recent appearances.
Bell replaces apprentice hoop Sam Clipperton who has opted to remain in Sydney for Saturday’s Warwick Farm meeting.
Two back they narrowly hung on to win at Canterbury before returning a month alter at Eagle Farm last Saturday to put three lengths on Tax Evader to win the $45,000 Bank of QLD New Farm Handicap (1500m).
This Saturday they are on the short back-up but are firing on all cylinders ready to step up to the mile at Doomben.
Originally Allard had no plans to target the Tattersall’s Mile however it was added to the hit list after the horse’s all too easy Brisbane win last weekend, Loaded enjoying their time in the sunshine state.
“The race he won at Eagle Farm was his target up here and the Tatt’s Mile is an afterthought but he’s thrived in Brisbane,” Allard, who previously worked for Hall of Famer John Hawkes before taking out his own training license five years ago, said this week.
“He’s probably doing better up here than he does at home and I think it’s a natural progression for him to run in this race.”
Saturday will be their first black type assignment with Loaded shooting for his eighth career win at start number 23.
It won’t however be their first look at the 1600m, a distance they have won three of their seven starts over.
“He’s won most of his races at the mile which is his pet trip,” Allard added.
“I’ve got a high opinion of the horse. I think there’s a nice race in him and I’m hoping he can show that on Saturday.”
While their form and the distance are right, Allard would like to see the rain stay away and the current Slow (6) track get an upgrade despite the horse having handled that ground rating for their two last starts.
“He won nicely the other day but he’s far better on top of the ground and because he’s taking on Listed company for the first time I’d prefer a better surface than slow for him,” he said.
“Apart from that I couldn’t be happier with him. He’s pulled up in fantastic shape and I’m more than happy to be going around again.”