Like any sport, luck in racing can play a pivotal role in determining results.

As far as trainer Stephanie Bakranich is concerned, her stable pin-up Nerodio has been bereft of any.

She firmly believes if one horse deserves a change of fortune this preparation it’s Nerodio.

Bakranich says bad luck in two return runs have conspired against the eight-year-old.

Nerodio ran third to Ghost Who Walks in the Beaufine Stakes (1000m) and could have finished closer or better after being hindered for a run until the final 200m.

He followed up with a strong-finishing fourth in the Bolton Sprint (1200m) after being surprisingly shuffled back towards the back half of the 13-horse field.

Nerodio is aiming for his second consecutive success in the Belmont Newmarket after scoring a 1 ¾ length victory over Great Again 12-months ago.

Despite the losses, Bakranich says she can’t fault Nerodio and that he is thriving and going as well as he can.

She said Nerodio deserved to breakthrough in the Belmont Newmarket.

“I still can fault him, he’s still very sound, nice and bright, working really well,” Bakranich told The Races WA.

“I’ve just had a lot of back luck-twice and it’s been very disappointing, but it’s no fault of the horse that he’s been beaten.

“The plan was definitely not to get way back last start, he should not have ended up where he was, circumstances got him there.

“He could easily have won two races and be two from two, not taking away from horse that did win those races.

“As far as the horse is going, I can’t fault him, he’s fit and well and definitely not training off or anything.

“He’s in just as good as order as he was for those other two races and hopefully we get the luck to have a good go at them.”

Nerodio shoulders top weight (60.5kg) in the Belmont Newmarket and jumps from barrier six. Laqdar Ramoly retains the ride.

He’s been easy with Tabtouch, sitting at $6 after opening $4.60.

Meanwhile Playing Marika is being set for the Ascot Pinnacles carnival after a breakout campaign.

The eight-year-old won the Listed Grandstand Cup (1500m) and $100,000 Diggers Cup (1800m) in March and April.

“She’s been back in work for a couple of weeks to get ready for the carnival,” Bakranich said.

“That was her best prep she just had and I’m hoping to have a good preparation with her.”

Julio Santarelli