Wet track dud Perfect Dare will be tested on a rain affected track when he steps out in the Listed $175,000 City Of Ipswich Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich on Saturday.
The Ipswich track was rated a heavy 8 on Thursday morning and with no real drying weather in the lead up to the weekend, the surface is certain to still have plenty of moisture in it come race day.
Perfect Dare showed his dislike for the heavy conditions when he was beaten nine and a quarter lengths when twelfth to Free Standing two starts back in the $388,000 Newhaven Park Country Championships Final (1400m) at Randwick on April 1.
But Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is committed to run Perfect Dare to make sure that he will be at his top for the Listed $175,000 HMR Projects Glasshouse Handicap (1400m) at the Sunshine Coast on July 1.
“He nearly has to run on Saturday,” Dunn told The Courier-Mail.
He’s probably going to get bashed up, but at least it lines him up properly for the Glasshouse.
“The other option is to go to the race the following week (Healy Stakes), but it’s not ideal backing up into the Glasshouse.
“Now that we know he’s no good in (wet ground), the only times to run on it are times like this, where we know he needs to go around.
“He’s so much better on top of the ground. When he went to the country championship final, that was sad. He was hopeless in that ground and it was proven by the horse that won the race, he beat by five lengths the start before.”
Perfect Dare has drawn nicely at barrier four in the capacity field and will be ridden by in-form jockey Jim Byrne who is replacing Tegan Harrison who was aboard the gelding last start when third behind Deploy and Dothraki in the Group 2 $175,000 Ascot Green Moreton Cup (1200m) at Doomben on June 3.
Harrison has been booked to ride stablemate Strawberry Boy who had Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle last start when twelfth in the Moreton Cup.
On paper Strawberry Boy’s form doesn’t look flash but Dunn said from the inside barrier the eight year old might be able to dictate the race from the front and find some of his best form.
“His run the other day was okay. He galloped with Perfect Dare this week and worked as well as him. He’s a great big heavy horse that takes stacks of fitting up,” Dunn said.
“I don’t think he’s finished. He still has plenty of zest for racing.
“I think Tegan (Harrison) will suit him. If she can put the handlebars down and hold the fence, he’s a much better horse when he can get to the front and dominate.”
Perfect Dare is well in commission in the early Eye Liner Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au at $7.50 while Strawberry Boy is marked as one of the outsiders of the field at $34.