Bunbury trainer Holly Locke is placing her trust in Peter Knuckey to compensate Assets ‘N’ Cash’s awkward draw in the Perth Ice Works Handicap (1650m) at Belmont Park.
Locke was reconsidering her options after the Numerous Times gelding drew the outside gate in the field of 14, but was swayed by Knuckey to push ahead and tackle the mile race.
The experienced and adept jockey is in a good position to advise Locke; he is the most successful rider on the six-year-old, combining in three of his four career wins.
A dose of the flu forced Knuckey to miss Assets ‘N’ Cash’s brave effort last week when he ran second to Fathnoxious, he stuck on well after racing wide throughout.
Locke said combined with the skills of Knuckey, the horse’s recovery and the Belmont surface, Assets ‘N’ Cash was capable of figuring in the money.
“Unfortunately he has drawn wide but if anyone is going to navigate him through that field then Peter Knuckey is the man,” said Locke on TAB Radio.
“I spoke to Peter on the weekend and he said to definitely run the horse despite the wide draw because he is a type who gets back anyway.
“Peter has been on him for three of his four wins and the horse has pulled up the best he has ever pulled up from a run.
“He is also an older horse and I think he is appreciating the Belmont track which is a little bit softer than Pinjarra.
“He does love Pinjarra and races well there but does pull up a little bit awkwardly on some occasions.
“He is bucking and running around, he is very well within himself and in a very, very good place at the moment.
“I’m excited to see him go around.”
Locke believes the removal of blinkers and addition of visors could prove critical to Fractal’s hopes of taking out the Westspeed Nominations Close This Friday Handicap (1300m).
The Viscount gelding is coming off a last-start fifth to Star Bay at Belmont two weeks ago when he loomed a winner after hitting the front half way down the straight.
Form around the race is solid with runner up Sky Rhythmn winning at her subsequent start and fourth placegetter, Phantom Choice, saluting at Kalgoorlie on Sunday.
Fractal will be in the hands of Shaun O’Donnell for the first time with the specialist replacement rider to negotiate his task from barrier nine.
“We are going for the visors because when the horse hit the front he got lost when all his friends disappeared,” said Locke.
“I think the visors will make a difference because I sort of train one out at Bunbury and it’s quite hard for the young babies.
“The instructions will be if he hits the front to keep mowing them down.”
Locke admitted her confidence was dented when Shravan copped a horror draw, but believes the five-year-old is in good enough form to warrant claims in the Argonaut Handicap (1400m).
Shravan scored a Belmont win two starts back over Vain Rippa and was not disgraced when seventh to Belmont Oaks champion (2000m) on July 4.
“The horse is flying and I would have been confident if he drew well,” said Locke.
“We will try and press forward but will need some luck.”
RWWA: Julio Santarelli