Trainer Colin Scott has revealed that he expects Speediness to be settled towards the tail of the 2014 Canterbury Stakes field by leading jockey Damien Oliver, despite impressing with a tough on-pace effort in the Apollo Stakes (1400m).
Jim Cassidy was forced to go forward on Speediness in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes at Royal Randwick on February 22, after being caught wide in the early stages of the race, and the Testa Rossa gelding battled on bravely to finish second behind Appearance.
Scott was most impressed with the tough performance of Speediness in the Apollo Stakes, but told Racing Ahead this morning that he expects the six-year-old will return to his usual pattern in the Canterbury Stakes this weekend.
“I’d say that he will be getting back,” Scott said.
“He was a little bit tardy and was caught three wide the trip last time, which I think made the run even better.
“From four, I would just be expecting him to settle maybe back midfield with cover and be left to have a chance at them.”
The 2014 Canterbury Stakes field is packed full of quality, with Zoustar, Red Tracer and Not Listenin’tome all set to do battle, but Scott is confident that Speediness can produce his usual consistent performance at the highest level of racing.
While the Caulfield-based trainer would be surprised if Speediness was able to score his maiden Group 1 victory, he is hopeful that his star galloper can finish in the top four and continue to build towards the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.
“He is really well,” Scott said.
“He has come right on in the coat and he has had three weeks between runs, so he has freshened up nicely.
“This is a red-hot race, but he is an honest performer and he will be thereabouts.
“He has won over 1200 and has beaten very good horses; when he won the Bobbie Lewis he beat Rebel Dane.
“That puts him in with some sort of a chance and we will see how we measure up.
“We are here for the Doncaster and if he could run top four, within three lengths of the winner, then I would be a very happy man.”
Speediness is currently available at 2014 Canterbury Stakes odds of $17; with Zoustar ($2.75) a clear favourite from Not Listenin’tome ($4.20) and Red Tracer ($4.50).