Adam Durrant fears the Strickland Stakes (2000m) could be run in the same fashion as the Hyperion Stakes (1600m), giving Fuchsia Bandana a major advantage in the Group 3 feature at Belmont on Saturday.
Fuchsia Bandana took up the running in the Hyperion Stakes and with no pressure applied she was able to dictate terms and finish a length clear of Durrant stable mates, Respondent and Tower Of Lohnro.
Durrant believes if a similar scenario occurs and Fuchsia Bandana is permitted another soft run in front against a similar field to the Hyperion Stakes, she will be awfully hard to run down.
“The tempo of the race allowed Fuchsia Bandana to have a birthday out in front,” said Durrant on TABradio.
“She crawled them and it was always going to be too hard for the back markers to take ground of her.
“It looks like it could be a similar scenario again on Saturday and if she gets her own way it’s going to be tough to run her down.
“She is a good quality mare who proved it over the carnival.”
Fuchsia Bandana, prepared by Darren McAuliffe, is a dual stakes champion after taking out the Group 3 Northerly Stakes (1400m) last October.
The Hyperion Stakes was her first win this campaign after she placed third in the Roma Cup (1200m) and Belmont Sprint (1400m) respectively.
Durrant will be out to maintain a strong family link when he saddles three of the nine runners in the Strickland Stakes.
His faith rests with resurgent galloper, Tower Of Lonhro, last year’s WA Derby hero, Respondent and the enigmatic, Ranger.
“I probably lean to Respondent and the only reason being I have seen him at the top level using Real Love as a measuring stick,” said Durrant.
“He basically ran her to a half-length third over a similar distance in last year’s St Leger just before her winning the Perth Cup (2400m).
“I probably couldn’t see Tower Of Lonhro quite measuring up to them and that’s not being disrespectful.
“I just think he might be a bit more of a tradesman rather than a carnival type horse.
“If Respondent gets to have things go his way he is marginally my better chance.”
Despite Durrant’s declaration Tower of Lonhro, who has won three of his past four races including the Diggers’ Cup (1800m), has opened a $3.20 favourite with the TAB.
The former Sydney galloper shades Fuchsia Bandana, rated a $3.50 chance with Balmont Girl and Respondent next at $4.40 and $4.60 respectively.
Durrant is chasing his third success in the Strickland Stakes after previously preparing Kincaple (2013) and Mr Moet (2012).
His father Geoff won with Dedicated Miss in 2004.