Leading trainer Sarah Childs is confident stable newcomer Banana Boy can bounce back and atone when he tackles the Dongara Cup (1925m) at Geraldton on Thursday.
The Flying Pegasus gelding, now in the hands of Childs after 15 starts for Adam Durrant, had his coloured lowered when third to Canyousee Me Smile last-start.
After posting an impressive first-up win for Childs at Geraldton, Banana Boy entered the Mingenew Cup as a rock-solid favourite, but he couldn’t live up to his rating.
He settled third in running for jockey, Robert Markou, but was much the same throughout and couldn’t reel in the winner, finishing 2 ½ lengths astern in third place.
Childs said there were excuses for Banana Boy’s defeat and she expects and anticipates an improved showing from the five-year-old.
“Mingenew is a funny track and Canyousee Me Smile had the bounce on them early,” Childs said on Tabradio.
“He whacked away ok, but I’m not sure he handled the track that well.
“He should improve a bit back on a nice track.
“I’m looking forward to him going around.
“I galloped him yesterday (Monday) and I was happy with his work.”
Hel Cool, another recent stable acquisition for Childs, has been around the mark without breaking through this campaign.
The Helenus gelding has been placed in three of his past four starts, but Childs is hoping the addition of blinkers could bring about a reversal of fortune.
“I’m sort of hoping he can track up a little better because he drops the bridle at the 600m,” Childs said.
“He is a real stayer and if he tracks up a little better I think he will definitely go close.”
Hel Cool meets a field of seven in the Vale Adrian Gannon Handicap (2125m) including his last-start conqueror, Fleeting Glance, who scored by 3 ¾ lengths.
Hel Cool, drawn in barrier seven for jockey, Robert Markou, picks up a small weight swing on Fleeting Glance.
Childs says Assets ‘N’ Cash was disappointing when a distant third to Ainia on March 19, but is hopeful of a turnaround when the gelding steps up to 1600m in the Kobis Journey Handicap.
She is also optimistic Standup’n’deliver, One Demerit and Alyeska can run competitively in races one, two and six respectively.
Childs will be out to consolidate her lead in the trainer’s premiership, she currently is on course to create Geraldton racing history.
With just three meetings remaining Childs is on track to become the first female to take out Geraldton’s leading trainer title.
She currently sits on 103 points, 28 points clear of stalwart and 18-time champion, Gordon Spowart.
Childs’ outstanding season is also reflected in Horse of the Year with 2014 Karrakatta Plate placegetter, Vitalism, sharing the lead with McScar.
Childs’ stable jockey, Robert Markou, is in line to take out the jockey award. Clint Johnston-Porter and Randy Tan are fighting it out for leading apprentice.

RWWA; Julio Santarelli