John Thompson has one of the hardest training jobs in the country looking after the Nathan Tinkler owned Patinack Farm team which spreads right across the nation.
It’s his job to ensure each horse is primed and ready to go on their various assignments and barely a day goes by that he doesn’t have at least one runner somewhere in Australia.
His attention at the moment is largely turned to his two year old contingent, an area where he’d admit he fell short of expectations last season.
Although nobody could match the might of Darley and Peter Snowden Thompson was still disappointed and focussed a good deal of time in trying to turn that around this season.
With the Blue Diamond series fast approaching he’s pinned his hopes on two handy horses.
The most prominent is Real Stolle, the winner of the Listed Maribyronong Plate over 1000m at Flemington during the spring.
Since then she’s had a short break and looks like one of the horses to beat in the fillies division after a promising trial.
“She got back in her trial and hit the line really nice, she seems to have done well in her spell,” Thompson said.
He says she’s noticeably filled out over the past two months and he’s expecting big things in the Blue Diamond Preview.
“She’s a bit bigger and stronger so looking forward to Saturday week,” he said.
“She’s a nice filly going forward and if she’s improved a little bit she’ll be competitive.”
On the other side of the draw is Ferment who’ll compete against the colts and geldings.
His form is a little tougher to read after making his debut at Caulfield back in December.
He won his first race in good style but faltered last start to finish second last at Flemington.
Thompson says he’s had a quick freshen up since then and is hoping to get him back to his debut form.
“He had a couple of weeks out in the paddock…also had a jump out, ran third in a nice even trial,” he said.
“He’d gone off a little bit and the freshen up seems to have helped.
“It’s not the ideal prep but he seems ok.”