Perth trainer Chris Gangemi confidently says if Barzinho can reproduce his best form he will be the horse to beat in the Tabtouch-Mount Barker Cup (2000m) on Sunday.
Barzinho has been installed favourite ($3) by Tabtouch, with Master Magician ($3.80), Rhino Buster ($4.60) and Powercraft ($8) the other runners under double figures
Gangemi said Barzinho wasn’t suited when he raced against his pattern at Ascot two weeks ago and expects the son of Hussonet to rebound strongly.
With jockey Jarrad Noske keen to maximise an on pace bias, Barzinho settled third but he failed to have any impact behind tearaway leader, Nelson’s Flight.
Gangemi, who has his stable racing in red-hot form- said if Barzinho can put his best foot forward he will play a major hand in the Mount Barker Cup.
“We rode him on pace last start to suit the day and that didn’t suit him,” Gangemi told Tabradio’s The Sports Daily.
“He will be left to lope along the back on Sunday and if he wants to put in I’m sure he will be hard to beat in a race like that.”
Barzinho carries 55.5kg in the Mount Barker Cup, a 3.5kg drop on his last-start seventh. Jarrad Noske, who won the Mount Barker Cup with Xaaravid in 2011, retains the ride.
Lumping 58kg is Esperance Cup runner-up, Rhino Buster. Trainer Rod ‘Freddo’ Brown says the top weight impost is a minor concern, but believes this should be offset by barrier one.
Brown and Rhino Buster, last season’s Esperance Horse of the Year, are hoping for a change of fortune after their high hopes were cruelly dashed 12-months back.
Rhino Buster was one of the major fancies ahead of last year’s Mount Barker Cup, but the meeting was abandoned after a section of the track was deemed unsafe by stewards.
“He is in top order and has done nothing wrong since the Esperance Cup when he had to do too much work racing wide,” Brown said.
“If he has a weakness it could be top weight, but he should get a beautiful run from the barrier.
“He can sit off them in fourth or fifth spot and then put the pressure on before the turn.
“I think he is a big chance, but I have a lot of respect for Barzinho.”