It has been over three and a half years since Jason McLachlan’s then very promising juvenile Phelan Ready hit the headlines with their 2009 Golden Slipper win, and while they have failed to enter the winners’ stall since, the horse’s jockey for the weekend Damien Brown has an inkling this weekend could bring an end to the drought.
More Than Ready gelding Phelan Ready won the world’s richest two-year-olds feature in April of 2009 but is yet to win a race since.
They have finished in the money in eight of their 28 subsequent starts however including their first-up effort at Eagle Farm Racecourse last time out on November 24.
The now six-year-old resumed at the track carrying a hefty 59kg to come within a length of Steel Zip when runner-up in the Listed Keith Noud Handicap (1200m) and will look to go one better in Saturday’s $200,000 Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m).
Due to carry the 59kg top-weight again Phelan Ready has drawn favourably in gate four of 13 for what McLachlan hopes will be their career saving victory with Brown, aboard for the Keith Noud, retaining the ride.
Like the always optimist Sunshine Coast-McLachlan, Brown believes that Saturday could finally see Phelan Ready add another 1st to his record with the likely fast pace of the weekend’s race set to suit.
“There looks to be plenty of speed in this race, which is what he needs,” Browne said.
“If they slow up at any stage it probably puts him out of contention but looking at the number of speed runners in the race I’d be very surprised if that happens.
“He’ll probably go back a little bit but I’m hoping there’ll be a couple behind him and he’ll only be standing them up four or five lengths on the corner.
“If he’s able to do that and get a cart into the race and have one crack at them he should be very competitive.”
Brown also believes his mount is more than able to handle the 59kgs despite giving away five kilos to some quality rivals who are on the 54kg minimum.
“He’s a genuine weight-for-age horse so with a 54kg minimum he doesn’t meet the other horses too badly at the weights,” he said.
“I thought his first-up run was terrific, although we know he can tend to mix his form a little bit.”
Current betting markets for the George Moore Stakes are led by Kelso Wood’s local stakes winner Belltone ($4) racing for the first time since their below par effort in the Listed Tattersall’s Mile back in July during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, with the defending champion Adebisi ($5) from Desleigh Forster’s Eagle Farm stables following closely.
Phelan Ready meanwhile is the $6 third favourite with the bookies taking no chances after their eye-catching first-up performance where they were able to beat home a field full of George Moore hopefuls including Audacious Spirit (3rd) and Easy Running (4th).
The 2012 Zig Zag Foundation George Moore Stakes is the first major of the Brisbane Summer Triple Crown which continues on December 22 with the $200,000 Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) at Doomben and concludes the following Saturday with the $200,000 Listed Bernborough Handicap (1615m).