Trainer Stephanie Bakranich hopes the racing ‘gods’ are in Nerodio’s favour on Saturday after luck deserted the gelding when he resumed at Belmont two weeks ago.
Nerodio ran third to Ghost Who Walks in the Listed Beaufine Stakes (1000m), a race he knows well having won the feature winter sprint two years previously.
Bakranich had high hopes Nerodio could achieve a record-breaking third straight Beaufine, but those hopes were foiled after he was held up for clear running.
The Playing God seven-year-old was pocketed on the fence and after jockey Laqdar Ramoly shifted off the rails the momentum was lost and the race as good as over.
Bakranich was gutted by the loss as his work leading in was of high quality.
She believes if good fortune goes his way Nerodio will bounce back and atone in the Listed Bolton Sprint (1200m).
“I was bitterly disappointed and in the grandstand watching the race I had to cover my eyes,” Bakranich told Tabradio.
“Laqdar was also very disappointed and said his main thing was trying to get off the fence, that’s all we really spoke about.
“We drew barrier one and a lot of people would have been happy to draw that too.”
Bakranich says Nerodio is in a better position to make an impact in the Bolton after drawing barrier five of 14.
“That’s a good gate for him,” Bakranich said.
“He’s better drawn out; we never mind if he draws barriers 11 or 12.
“That’s always a good draw for him, wide gate as well.”
Nerodio is having his third attempt at winning the Bolton for Bakranich.
12-months ago he finished third to Resortman and in 2021 sixth behind Amasenus.
Feet issues have been his biggest complaint, restricting him predominantly to rain-affected tracks at Belmont where all 11 wins have come from.
But in a positive sign for the weekend, Bakranich says Nerodio is going as well as ever and has enjoyed a trouble-free lead-in to his latest winter campaign.
“This is probably the best preparation I’ve had since I’ve had him,” Bakranich said.
“We’ve always had lots of problems with his feet and soundness and it’s been hard to manage in that regard.
“This has been a very uncomplicated preparation for him and I was confident going into the Beaufine.
“He was in very good order which he still is.
“Hopefully I can have a successful campaign with him.”
Nerodio is currently a $6 chance in the Bolton Sprint, Real Danger, runner-up in the Beaufine Stakes, is the $4.40 Tabtouch favourite.