Chorus Boy has overcome a minor setback and is primed to take on the Skyracing TV Provincial Championship Series Final (1400m) at Belmont on Saturday.
Trainer Jarrod Humphries believes Chorus Boy will be at peak fitness and had his confidence boosted after the gelding’s rousing track gallop earlier in the week
“We had a mishap last week where he actually got pretty crook and had a pretty high temperature for a few days,” said Humphries on TABradio.
“He didn’t want to eat or drink and I didn’t really know if I would get him to the race until about a week ago.
“His work on Wednesday morning was absolutely terrific and it showed to me that he was really spot on.”
Chorus Boy has had three starts this campaign and qualified for the final when he charged home for a first up victory at Narrogin.
Humphries believes the Saxon gelding could have finished closer when sixth and 2 ½ lengths from Dark Alert at Belmont two weeks ago.
“He didn’t get a lot of racing room in the straight and was quite unlucky,” said Humphries.
“I thought it was a nice enough run and he still has something to give.
“I think he has pretty much held his form throughout.”
Apprentice Jordan Turner who has been with Chorus Boy throughout his preparation retains the mount. In a capacity field of 16 he jumps from barrier 13.
“You never want to draw badly but it’s not the end of the world,” said Humphries.
“He does prefer to get back in his races and doesn’t do a lot early.
“Once he finds his feet and in this company he can unleash with a pretty big finish.”
The TAB has Chorus Boy, in an open race, at $9.
Heading the market as the $4.20 favourite is Crystal Gardens who posted a dominant three length victory when resuming at Pinjarra in April.
Trainer Adam Durrant considers the four-year-old Blackfriars mare unlucky not to hold a clean record this campaign.
At Ascot she got held up before finishing seventh to Jinsky Magic and worked hard when third to Minimalist at Pinjarra.
“I might be a little bias but she has been unlucky not to win her last two,” said Durrant.
“She should have won at Ascot after a good first up win and was afforded no luck the other day when she was out in the cheap seats.
“She kept coming on the line which is a sign of a horse going on in her prep.
“If all goes to plan and we get no bad luck at all she is probably my best for the day.”
Crystal Gardens has drawn barrier four for Peter Hall.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli