Caulfield trainer John Sadler is chasing an overdue win in the Listed $300,000 Ballarat Cup (2200m) at Ballarat on Saturday with new stable acquisition Observational.
Sadler won the Ballarat Cup with Pressman’s Choice in 1989 and is giving Observational a great chance of finding the winner’s stall this year.
“Twenty-seven years ago, I remember it well,” Sadler told racing.com.
“Pressman’s Choice – 1989. I’ve had a few tries since.
“We ran fourth in it last year, Digitalism, same owners as this horse (Observational).
“It wouldn’t surprise me to see him win the race, actually.”
Observational was brought to Australia from Great Britain by Melbourne Cup winning owner Lloyd Williams at the end of 2014 before finding his way into Sadler’s Caulfield stables.
The English import has had one run for Sadler and while he was well out of the prizemoney, Sadler could see some positives in his tenth behind Boom Time in a 1600m BenchMark 96 Handicap with 59.5kg at Flemington on November 5.
“We haven’t had him a long time, probably six weeks now,” Sadler said.
“He ran well at Flemington the other day without having any luck.
“It’s a little bit unknown about whether he actually does stay.
“More with next preparation in mind for him, we just decided to run him over the 2200m to decide where we go with him.
“He had three runs (this prep) for the previous stable, and the one for us.
“It’s not a horse I’ve done a lot with, he’s a fairly light-framed horse, but I think he’s done enough.
“The interesting thing will be if he runs the trip strongly.”
Observational has had one run over a similar distance for a win in a Listed race at Goodwood in England in 2014 with his best effort for the Williams Team being a third to Leebaz in the Group 3 $150,000 Le Pine Funerals Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield during the 2016 Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
Observational has drawn barrier eight in the capacity Ballarat Cup field with Luke Nolen taking over from Damien Oliver.
In Ballarat Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au Observational is listed at $17 in a wide open market order that has the Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Cool Chap as the $7.50 favourite.
On the second line of betting is the well supported Nozomi at $8 just ahead of Lidari and Lady Le Fay who are both marked at $8.50.
Trainer Chris Waller will saddle up Lady Le Fay and is chasing back to back wins in the Ballarat Cup after claiming the trophy last year with his trusted old stayer Junoob.