Champion jockey Glen Boss believes this season’s Standish Handicap is lacking depth, presenting Lonrockstar with an opportunity in the New Year’s Day feature.
But Lonrockstar’s trainer John Sadler is concerned about the inside draw in Friday’s straight track sprint at Flemington and what he sees as a lack of speed.
Sadler has aimed Lonrockstar at the Group Three Standish this summer but described barrier one as “the worst barrier he could have drawn”.
“The horse is really good and going well, but drawn one and the possibility of no speed goes against his chances,” Sadler said.
“He’s ready to run really well, so hopefully something different to the way I’m thinking turns out.”
Lonrockstar won an 1100m-open sprint down the straight in June and was a close second in the Listed All Victorian Sprint Series Final in July over the Standish course and distance of 1200m.
His winter campaign finished with a fifth in the Aurie’s Star Handicap at Flemington.
After resuming with a luckless ninth over 1000m at Moonee Valley on November 28, Lonrockstar missed a scheduled start at Flemington two weeks ago when the races were called off because of extreme heat.
Boss believes missing that race could work in Lonrockstar’s favour.
“He missed that run because of the hot day but that’s probably more of a benefit for him than anything because he loves being fresh, having had no luck first-up,” Boss said.
“He has run well down the straight before and he’s coming in on the minimum weight in a race which lacks a lot of depth.”
Up-and-coming sprinter Durendal is the $2.90 favourite having won his past two starts at Ballarat on November 21 and an open handicap down the straight at Flemington on December 12.
Boss admitted Durendal and a couple of other rivals were going well but said the Standish was also their test.
“He (Lonrockstar) has a few runs in between drinks but it’s probably the right race for him,” Boss said.
Sarajevo and Tried And Tired share the second line of betting at $6.50 with the latter firming from $9 to $6.50 in the TAB fixed odds market while Lonrockstar has been tightened to $11 after opening $18.
Tried And Tired didn’t defend his Christmas Stakes title on Boxing Day with trainers Leon and Troy Corstens opting for the Standish Handicap as the gelding’s target after his third in the Doveton Stakes first-up.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au