Talented young rider Beau Mertens considers barrier six as the perfect draw for Oncidium Ruler in the Listed $250,000 Pakenham Cup (2500m) at racing.com Park at Pakenham on Saturday.
Mertens can see Oncidium Ruler settling in the middle of the thirteen horse field and is hoping for a solid pace up front to give the Mick Kent trained stayer every chance to pick up the leaders.
“It is the perfect gate. Doesn’t settle too close, around midfield and hopefully there is a little bit of speed and if that is the case you should see him in the finish,” Mertens told racing.com.
Mertens has been aboard Oncidium Ruler for his last three starts which included a win two starts back in a 2000m BenchMark 90 Handicap at Flemington before finishing second to Knowable in the Listed $300,000 Ballarat Cup (2200m) at Ballarat on November 25.
Mertens has reported that Oncidium Ruler has come through the Ballarat Cup run in great shape and was happy with his work on Tuesday morning.
“There was a lot of speed on in that race and it suited him. He was able to travel really nicely in the running, got a nice rails run up and I thought his effort was really tough,” Mertens said.
“It was always the plan to come to this race and we could not have been happier with the lead up run in the Ballarat Cup.”
“I worked him yesterday (Tuesday) and he worked really well and pulled up well.”
“I am very excited going into Saturday.”
“After he won at Flemington, what he did there was the decider. After he did that he was always to go to Ballarat and then to Pakenham.”
Oncidium Ruler has shown in the past that he can handle the step back up to 2500m after winning over that distance in a BenchMark 78 Handicap at The Valley in February.
“I think the 2500 metres will suit him,” trainer Mick Kent said.
Betting for the Pakenham Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au has Oncidium Ruler as the second favourite at $3.80 behind the Matt Cumani trained Grey Lion with the top weight De Little Engine the third pick at $6.