Red Excitement will have to overcome the outside barrier if he is to fight his way back into the winner’s stall in the Group 3 $150,000 Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Red Excitement will jump from the outside of the field that has been reduced to ten runners following the early scratching of Chalk from the Festival Stakes.
The eight year old hasn’t claimed a winning cheque since his all the way victory in the Listed $150,000 Gosford Gold Cup (2100m) at Gosford on January 13 but trainer Gerald Ryan is hoping a change in training techniques and a drop in weight will be to his advantage.
Ryan has tinkered with Red Excitement’s training program to try and get him to settle better in his races and the fact that he will drop 2.5kg in weight has boosted his confidence.
Red Excitement will still have to carry the top weight of 59.5kg after lumping 62kg last start when fifth to Festival Stakes rival Cabeza de Vaca in the $100,000 November Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill on November 18.
“I may have been doing too much with him,” Ryan told AAP.
“I’ve backed off him a bit and I was very pleased with how he settled back last time.
“He didn’t have a lot of room but went to the line well and he will comes down around two kilos on last time when he carried 62.”
Red Excitement almost pulled off the upset of the 2017 Sydney Spring Carnival when Josh Parr let the gelding set up a commanding lead from the 800m before eventually being run down by super mare Winx in the Group 2 $250,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 2, but from four runs since Red Excitement has failed to fill a place.
Red Excitement has been marked at $14 for the Festival Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au who have installed Cabeza de Vaca as the $2.70 favourite to win his sixth race in succession.
Cabeza de Vaca has drawn barrier seven with apprentice Rachel King taking the ride again after steering the six year old to victory at his last two starts in the $100,000 Filante Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on October 28 and in the November Handicap.