The addition of blinkers did the trick and the Joe Pride-trained Kuro returned to the winner’s circle with success in the $100,000 Listed Mick Dittman Plate (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
Kuro disappointed at his last start in Sydney when finishing down the track in the Group II Arrowfield Sprint at Randwick last month then again appeared to be below his best when failing to respond to riding in a Gosford barrier trial on April 29.
Pride did say the rain-affected ground encountered in New South Wales hadn’t been to Kuro’s liking but he reassessed and lowered his first Queensland target from the BTC Cup to the Mick Dittman Plate while also adding the blinkers to the son of Denman’s gear.
Top Victorian rider Craig Williams took over on Kuro from Blake Shinn, who was aboard Rekindled Power having already ridden five winners on the program, and fired the colt out of the barriers, striding forward to take up the running at a solid gallop.
Kuro kicked strongly entering the straight and stole enough of a break to hold off the backmarkers that were powering late.
“He had to do all the running,” Williams told Sky Thoroughbred Central. “Joe Pride put the blinkers on him and they seemed to work really well.
“That win will give him confidence and the owners and Joe Pride can choose where they run him next.
“From the draw we were’nt offered many favours and when I asked him to quicken in the straight, after doing a bit of work early, he was very strong.”
Kuro ($4.60) defeated the John O’Shea-trained Sarajevo ($7.50) by a long head with Lloyd Kennewell’s Deiheros ($11) a head away in third while Rekindled Power ($5.50) also had a flashing light in fourth. The $4.20 favourite Miss Cover Girl finished fifth.