Trainer Gary Vile is confident that Ransomed will relish the step-up to 2400 metres when he makes his Australian racing debut in the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Caulfield tomorrow.
Ransomed recorded his maiden Group 1 victory in the Spring Classic (2040m) at Hastings on October 5 and worked home strongly, despite being outpaced in the early stages of the race, to finish sixth in the Group 3 Sofitel Luxury Hotels Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie last Tuesday.
The Handsome Ransom gelding has not finished in the placings in his three previous starts over 2400 metres or longer but Vile believes that the six-year-old will be suited by the testing staying trip at Caulfield this weekend.
“He won the Spring Classic in New Zealand and there wasn’t much more for him over there, so we thought that we would come and have a go at this one,” Vile told Sky Racing HQ.
“I think that it will be right up his alley; the 2000 metres was a little sharp for him at Ellerslie but he ran on quiet strongly so I was happy with that.
“He is a very quiet horse and a lovely natured horse; he is a pleasure to train to be fair.”
There looks like being a decent amount of speed in the Zipping Classic, with Sertorius and Queenstown expected to roll forward, but based on his past performances Ransomed will not be getting caught up in any early speed battle.
Ransomed has come from towards the back of the field in each of his career wins and Vile revealed that the six-year-old needs to wind up a long way from home to reach his top speed.
“He takes a bit of time to get going and we like to let him settle into his own rhythm,” Vile said.
“He likes to get going early in the race and go around them.
“Hopefully there is enough pace on and we can get going early in the race.
“He should get a lovely drag along just off mid-field and we can keep in contact with them.”
The Zipping Classic has not drawn the strongest field in the history of the event but it does include the in-form Precedence, who is chasing his third straight victory after taking out the Group 2 Drake International Cup (2500m) and the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m).
Vile admits that Ransomed will have to be at his very best to upset the Bart Cummings-trained stayer in the Zipping Classic but said he is just happy to be in Australia with a horse in a feature race.
“I know that they are very good horses and Precedence is right on top of his game at the moment,” the New Zealand-based trainer said.
“I rate him as the horse to beat but we will just run our own race and we won’t change his racing pattern.
“I am really happy with the horse and I’m just happy to be here.
“It is great experience for myself and the horse; depending on how he goes he could come back for next spring.”