Atlante will have the chance to score his maiden Australian race win in the 2014 All Aged Stakes and jockey Glyn Schofield believes that the talented colt is a genuine winning hope on a drying Royal Randwick track this weekend.
Atlante made his Australian racing debut with a narrow second behind Dissident on a wet track in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 1 and was well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 15, but could finish no better than sixth.
The Fastnet Rock colt was scratched from the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m), due to concerns about the state of the track, and failed to stay the trip when ridden forward in the Group 2 Nathan Berry Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 5.
Schofield has ridden Atlante in all three of his race starts in Australia and believes that the colt is capable of recording a major race win, but believes that the three-year-old will need a firm track at Randwick on Saturday to perform at his best.
“It’s a shame he’s struck wet tracks because when you ride him on the track in the morning he gives the impression he’s a Group One horse every day of the week, but he definitely needs a dry track to show his best,” Schofield told AAP.
“His first run I think gutted him on a wet track when Dissident just beat him then he was a bit flat in the Randwick Guineas and in the Tulloch Stakes he just didn’t stay.
“Hopefully that hasn’t taken to much out of him but Murray is a super trainer and knows exactly what he’s doing with his horses.
“If he can strike a dry track on Saturday and still have a bit of freshness in him he’ll run well.”
Schofield is chasing his maiden win in the All Aged Stakes after finishing second with Murtajill in 2008 and fifth with Mr Baritone in 2009.
Atlante is currently available at 2014 All Aged Stakes odds of $14; with T.J. Smith Stakes runner-up Rebel Dane ($3.50) a clear favourite from imported galloper Weary ($6), Coolmore Classic winner Steps In Time ($6), consistent sprinter Tiger Tees ($9) and talented filly Politeness ($10).