Perth trainer Shane Quilty has a high opinion of Hey Bro but concedes his confidence in the Fath gelding took a hit at Northam last Sunday.
Quilty entered the Northam Challenge Series Final (1400m) with strong hopes but Hey Bro couldn’t match the expectations and faded to seventh.
The four-year-old raced on top of a hot tempo and made his play in the home straight but he failed to run on and was swamped by Regimental Pride.
The loss marred a consistent campaign of racing that included creditable runner-up finishes to Retro Rocket and Oakhurst Flyer at Belmont.
Retro Rocket is highly rated despite his defeat at Ascot on Saturday and Oakhurst Flyer has finished top three in 11 of 12 starts.
Hey Bro stands an excellent chance of getting back on good terms with Quilty when he tackles the Geraldton Party Hire Handicap on Tuesday.
Quilty contemplated racing Hey Bro at Ascot on the same day but believes a drop back to 1200m would serve as a better option.
“He just didn’t seem to get the 1400m at Northam and I was a little disappointed as I thought he would win the race,” said Quilty.
“He didn’t run out the 1400m where at his previous few starts over 1200m and 1300m he hit the line very well.
“He is a high speed horse who can sit up on the pace and I think dropping back to 1200m will suit him.
“I know he keeps finding one that is better than him but at the same time he is racing good and is racing honest.”
Hey Bro, who has been gifted barrier four for apprentice Jordan Turner, will carry 51kg, 6kg less than Northam.
Lumping 59kg with the claim of Clinton Johnston-Porter and commencing from the widest gate in the field of 11 is Bali Cruiser.
The Errol Parsons’-trained gelding is racing in outstanding form and will be right in the firing line to make it a winning hat trick.
Black Oyster can’t be discounted on her last-start win when she led all the way to score by a dominant 3 ¾ lengths.
Cranky Dancer has claims and is knocking on the door after being placed at his opening two starts this campaign.
Julio Santarelli: RWWA