The threat of a wet weather in Perth has forced Jarrad Humphries to change course and aim Ruling Force at Sunday’s Terra Drilling-Kambalda Cup (1400m) in Kalgoorlie.
The Serpentine based trainer is almost certain last Saturday’s track conditions at Belmont Park contributed to Ruling Force performing below expectations.
Humphries had set the bar high for Ruling Force and held high confidence on the strength of the gelding’s top first up run when ¾ length third to Terrorize.
But the five-year-old couldn’t back up and after he stalked pacesetter Real Icon until the turn he knocked up to finish eighth behind Company Exchange.
Humphries conceded his confidence took a hit but he believes with the likelihood of firm going in the goldfields Ruling Force is capable of bouncing back.
“On face value I thought the run was disappointing and he is better than that,” said Humphries.
“On his first up run I thought he would win by three lengths.
“He never travelled at any stage and didn’t let down.
“I’m 99% sure it was down to the conditions.
“On a wet track he can’t get out of his own way and loses about six lengths.
“That’s why I think he will be suited at Kalgoorlie.
“He has a nice barrier and is lightly weighted.”
Ruling Force will carry 52kg with the claim of Randy Tan, a drop of 5 ½ kg on his run last week. In a field of 15 he has drawn barrier five.
Akhedasset has to give Ruling Force 7 ½ kg in weight but back on home turf and drawn perfectly in gate one he looks very hard to beat.
Royal Rada and Comanche Red, who fought out a close battle last week, will also have admirers and can’t be left out of calculations.
Reflectance is given a big hope by trainer Mark Bairstow who advises punters to ignore the six-year-olds first up run two week ago.
The Redoute’s Choice gelding had no impact against Madassa over the short course at Belmont, but Bairstow believes he will improve.
“His first run was on a wet track over 1000m against a strong breeze that made it impossible to make up any ground,” said Bairstow.
“He is actually going really good and just needs the right run in the race and I’m sure he will be in the finish.”
Bairstow has also accepted with Toned but says the More Than Ready seven-year-old, on the comeback trail, will need a few runs to get warmed up.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli