Wally Mitchell is one trainer who hasn’t been concerned by Perth’s heavy rain in the lead up to the $400,000 Group 2 WA Derby (2400m) on Saturday.
Ascot is currently rated a soft seven and Mitchell is confident the conditions will favour Say Geronimo in his bid to topple gun filly, Delicacy.
“The wet track won’t worry him,” said Mitchell.
“He won on a heavy track at Pinjarra at his first start.
“The Mastercraftsman’s are noted mud runners.
“I know the filly (Delicacy) is brilliant but it will be a bit of a slog.
“This will bring it back to a tough 2400 metres.
“I’m not worried how heavy it gets for my bloke.
“It might make it harder for the others though.”
Since winning on debut at Pinjarra last year Say Geronimo has been placed on seven occasions from his next 10 appearances.
He ran third to Rommel in the WA Guineas (1600m) and was second behind Boom Time in last fortnight’s Melvista Stakes (2200m).
His consistent strike rate took a hit when seventh in the J.C.Roberts Stakes (1800m), but Mitchell believes there were reasons for his failure.
“It was a real bad, hot muggy day and he pulled up with a bit of heat stress,” said Mitchell.
“He sweated up before the race which is the first time he has ever done that.
“I had bloods done and he was a bit dehydrated.
“It shouldn’t be the case this time and the horse is thriving.
“He has only won the one race but has been ultra-consistent.
“He has been a good thing beat a couple of times.
“I’m really happy with him.
“He will be right there in the finish.”
Mitchell, who prepared Brother Mak to finish third behind interstate visitor, Chartreux in the 2010 WA Derby, rates Delicacy and Boom Time as the hardest to beat.
Delicacy is the hot $2 favourite after wins in the Ascot 1000 Guineas (1800m), Natasha Stakes (1800m) and WA Oaks (2400m).
Prepared by Grant Williams who is in search of his fourth WA Derby in the past five years, Delicacy has drawn barrier one for jockey, William Pike.
Boom Time, trained by Trevor Andrews and to be ridden by Shaun McGruddy from barrier four, holds second favouritism at $5.
Peter Moody’s Spectacular Vison, the lone interstate visitor, is the only other runner in the 12-horse line-up under single figures.
The Mastercraftsman filly, second to Delicacy in the WA Oaks (2400m, is rated an $8 chance. She jumps from the widest gate for, Daniel Stackhouse.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli