Godolphin have both Demonstrate and Bantam in the 2015 1Print Handicap field and trainer John O’Shea is happy with the condition of both gallopers heading into the $80,000 event.
Demonstrate scored his maiden race win with a strong front-running effort at Mornington on July 2, but he produced only a fair effort when he was beaten as favourite in The Flemington Family Handicap (1200m) on July 18.
O’Shea told Racing Ahead that there were plenty of excuses for the poor performance of Demonstrate at his last start and he is hopeful that the New Approach gelding can return to a semblance of his best form in the 1Print Handicap this weekend.
“He just got a little bit keen and a bit exposed down the straight, but to be fair it was a day where you could have led on him because the fence was pretty active that day and it was a nice place to be,” O’Shea said.
“We wanted to ride him with a bit of cover, but it didn’t quite work out and it negated his sprint late because he spent the first part of the race running through the bridle.
“The tempo of the 100 should suit him, he will get a beautiful run behind the lead, but whether the trip back to 1000 is ideal for him is up for debate.”
Bantam was touted as a juvenile to watch before he made his racing debut with a fifth place finish in the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at Flemington on November 8, but he was never able to put it altogether as a three-year-old and he was sent to the spelling paddock after he finished at the tail of the field in the Listed Festival Of Racing 1000 (1000m) at Flemington on March 7.
O’Shea admits that Bantam will take plenty of benefit out of his first-up run, but he believes that the 1000 metres of Moonee Valley is the ideal course and distance for the speedy son of Exceed And Excel.
“He is probably in need of the run, but this is his go – that 1000 around the Valley,” O’Shea said.
“He will be bang out on the speed and he will give a good kick, but he is probably just a run short.
“This is his right trip and right track and we have been pleased with him.
“His work has been good and his two jump-outs have been excellent.
“He haven’t strengthened a great deal, he is a little pocket rocket and he needs to get going early in the spring when the others aren’t ready and hopefully he is.”
Bantam is currently on the fourth line of betting with Ladbrokes at $8 while Demonstrate is available at a double figure quote of $11.