Ranger has not recorded a race win since 2011 and trainer Adam Durrant admits that he is unsure whether the veteran gelding can end his losing streak in the 2014 Hyperion Stakes at Belmont this weekend.
Ranger has been a consistent performed at Group level throughout his racing career in Perth and has accumulated over $650,000 in total prizemoney for connections, but has been unable to return to the winners stall since he took out the Group 2 Waroa-Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) in 2011.
The Testa Rossa gelding has performed well in two race starts since joining the stable of Durrant, finishing fifth in both the Group 3 Roma Cup (1200m) and Group 3 Belmont Sprint (1400m), and the leading Western Australian trainer is happy with the condition of the seven-year-old and feels that he is well suited in the Hyperion Stakes, but believes it is tough to put too much confidence in his winning chances.
“I am as pleased as you can be with a rising eight-year-old,” Durrant said.
“He has been around the traps and I’ve only had him this preparation.
“His run first-up was excellent, he only got beaten a neck and ran fourth, and the other day he was ridden upside down and carried more four kilos more than anything in the race and probably covered 100 metres more than anything in the race.
“He is the sort of horse that you have to ride basically like you are not trying until the 300 and then have the last jab at them.
“He is going to get the perfect run tomorrow, even if he is last he is only going to be two or three lengths off them and he can reel off a good sectional.
“He is back to weight-for-age where the weight is in his favour and his work is excellent, but he is a little bit of non-winner.
“I think that it is coming up to something like 950 days since his last win, so you would have to take him on trust with that kind of record next to his name.”
There are only six runners remaining in the 2014 Hyperion Stakes field following the scratching of Settle Strada and Belmont Sprint winner Elite Belle is a clear favourite in betting markets for the Group 3 event at a quote of $1.60.
Steve Wolfe-trained Kalahaar ($4.50) is on the second line of betting at a quote of $4.50, while Ranger has been a clear market mover and is now into Hyperion Stakes odds of $6.50.