Ashely Maley says Jake To A King should relish and appreciate a drop in grade when he tackles the Gerald & Anne Ryan & Family Maiden (1200m) at Geraldton on Saturday.
Maley hasn’t been afraid to test Jake To A King against top company but admits he has been forced to lower expectations in an attempt to break his maiden status.
The Red Element gelding is unplaced from his five starts but has run into top rivals including boom sprinter Rebel King, Shengmu and dual Listed champion, Disposition.
“It’s a drop in grade and should be an easier assignment for him,” said Maley.
“He has faced some good horse and been competitive.
“I’ve lowered the bar because he needs to learn how to win.
“The visitors draw will make it harder but he has the class to overcome it.”
Jake To A King and jockey Alex Lawrence will combine to breakthrough from barrier 10.
Maley has cautioned punters no to dismiss the hopes of Push To Past in the Davincis Tile & Furniture Gallery Handicap (1400m).
Punters could be gun shy after the Courvoisier gelding faded to finish second-last behind Black Aria at Northam last month.
Maley says supporters should retain the faith and go on Push To Past’s previous win at Northam when he led throughout.
“That was an excellent win where he didn’t have to do a lot of work and was rated perfectly,” said Maley.
“It was in contrast to his last start where he couldn’t slot into a position and was gone at the top of the straight.
“I think I have two live chances at the meeting and Push To Pass can definitely bounce back into the winner’s list.”
Push To Pass will be partnered by in-form apprentice, Jordan Turner, and in a capacity field of 14 will start from gate nine.
Turner leads the Geraldton jockey’s premiership and is coming off a career-high treble on Melbourne Cup day.
Julio Santarelli: RWWA