Things haven’t exactly gone to plan in the initial stages of Shoot Out’s 2011 campaign and minor problems continue to plague the Melbourne Cup runner.
Despite this his trainer John Wallace remains confident his horse is ready to click into gear just in time for the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
The latest issue came yesterday when Wallace wasn’t able to gallop Shoot Out on the grass track at the Gold Coast due to the saturation of the turf.
Instead the four-year-old was sent to the sand track where he completed his work in less than ideal conditions.
While not a major issue, it’s yet another deviation in preparation that the out of form horse can ill afford.
“I was going to gallop him on the course proper but decided not to take the risk,” Wallace said.
“I watched a few horses work on it and they were getting right into it. I also spoke to a couple of blokes who had ridden out there and that convinced me to give it a miss.
“It doesn’t bother me that he missed the grass gallop. He’s done enough and worked good on the sand anyway.
“It’s bloody heavy at this stage but if we get some nice weather and they mow it we should be right for Saturday.”
One thing he can rely on however is huge home support with the Queenslander based at the Gold Coast Facility.
He hasn’t had the opportunity to run at home since January last year, that was the race where he won his maiden and kick started a remarkable 2010 year.
From there he won both the Randwick Guineas and the AJC Derby down in Sydney.
That led to a spring assault in Melbourne which wasn’t as successful however he did gain a start in the 2010 Melbourne Cup.
“I think he’s enjoying being back in his own box. He’s thrived since being home and I’m sure he’ll appreciate being able to just walk across the road to the races on Saturday,” Wallace said.
His performances this year haven’t lived up to expectations though with a ninth first up in the T.J Smith albeit behind Black Caviar and then a fifth in the All Aged Stakes behind Australia’s second best sprinter Hay List.
It was an interesting start for Shoot Out considering they were both sprint races over 1200m and 1400m, this from a horse which finished last year over a 3200m trip.
It could be an experiment from Wallace to try and find his ideal distance as the horse has run over plenty of trips but had no prolonged experience at one in particular.
The longer races during the Brisbane Winter Carnival will hopefully reveal more about a horse which is promising so much but struggling to get going in 2011.