A dominant victory at Carnarvon’s season-opening meeting may have come at a price for the Allan Hughes-trained six-year-old Twin City Soldier.
The Geraldton gelding attracted a higher than anticipated ratings boost after he destroyed his rivals by eight lengths in a 1200m contest on May 10.
Hughes disagrees with the handicapper’s assessment and is frustrated Twin City Soldier won’t be contesting the Ladies Bracelet (1200m).
He believes the Medal Of Honour gelding will be up against it when he chases back-to-back wins in the Bob Levitt Memorial Handicap (1000m).
“I was expecting three ratings point but he got an extra one because he won by such a margin,” said Hughes.
“I don’t agree with it and I’ve expressed my thoughts but at the end of the day you have to abide by the rules.
“I think dropping back to the 1000m and starting from the second widest draw is going to make it hard for him.
“He has never won over the journey but I’m not going to downplay his chances entirely.
“He is fit, racing well and I’m sure he will be making his presence felt at some stage of the race.”
Hughes expects stable mate Light That Smile to show further improvement over the 1400m of the Mio Fratello Handicap.
The seven-year-old, at his third run this campaign, chased hard when 1 ½ lengths second to Iconoclast (1200m).
“He will be fitter for the run and the extra distance will suit,” said Hughes.
“But I’m fearful of Gannochy who is in top form.
“Michelle (Valentine) has her team going really well at the moment.”
Gannochy, one of two entrants for Vallentine, is chasing back-to-back wins.
He won at Geraldton and was eye-catching when racing first-up at Carnarvon.
The Stratum gelding has drawn barrier two with Light That Smile on his outside in gate three.