Trainer James Cummings admits that race favourite Badajoz will need plenty of luck from an outside barrier in the Listed $160,000 Grafton District Services Club Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton today.
Badajoz will jump from one from the outside in the Ramornie Handicap field that has been reduced to fifteen runners following the scratching of five horses from the original twenty acceptors that included four emergencies.
Stradbroke Handicap winning jockey Corey Brown takes over from Damian Browne and will be hoping for plenty of luck in the early stages to give Badajoz every chance of making it back to back wins following his last start victory in a 1000m BenchMark 90 Handicap at the Sunshine Coast on Caloundra Cup on July 1.
“He’s going very well and is in extremely good form. Things will need to unfold favourably for him from the wide gate though,” Cummings told Racing New South Wales News.
Badajoz is holding his spot at the top of the market order for the Ramornie Handicap at $4 at Ladbrokes.com.au, just ahead of Team Snowden’s three year old Calanda at $4.60, the well supported The Monstar at $4.80 and Flippant at $5.50.
Badajoz has been a consistent performer since his juvenile days with four wins and nine minor placings from seventeen starts and as a two year old finished second to Prince Of Brooklyn in the Group 3 $115,000 National Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville during the 2015 Adelaide Autumn Carnival.
The Commands four year old’s recent form was also been good and prior to his win at the Sunshine Coast finished second against the open class horses in an 1100m Handicap at Randwick on May 27 before running second in a 1100m BenchMark 85 Handicap at Rosehill on June 17.
Calanda will be taking on the older sprinters again following his convincing last start win in an 1100m BenchMark 93 Handicap at Rosehill on July 1.
Jim Byrne takes over from Dean Yendall and the Snitzel three year old is certain to get every chance from barrier three while stablemate Flippant with Larry Cassidy in the saddle will also find herself in a handy position from gate two.