Trainer Neville Parnham isn’t concerned that a long preparation will catch up with Wrinkly in this weekend’s Listed Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m) at Ascot.
The five-year-old will be having his eighth run for his campaign on Saturday in the $100,000 event, where he’s also dropping back to the sprint trip.
Wrinkly was unplaced last start, after he led the field in the Australia Day Trophy (1500m) under 60kg with Kate Witten in the saddle.
At the start prior to that, Wrinkly took out the Mandurah Cup at Pinjarra.
Parnham said the drop in weight to 56kg would ensure Wrinkly would be competitive this weekend.
“He’s had a nice little freshen-up,” he told The Races WA.
“He carried a big weight (last start) and he probably got going a little bit too hard for Kate.
“He got a fair way in front and he just tired a bit over the closing stages.
“Carrying that weight and giving massive weight to other horses and the fact he went out just a little too hard, it took its toll late.”
Wrinkly has drawn barrier four in the eight horse field for the feature event and Parnham said his son Steven, who jumps back aboard the gelding on Saturday, had plenty of options.
“Last time at 1200 he was narrowly beaten, but he did lead them up,” he said.
“Whether he leads or takes a trail this week, we’re not sure.
“Either way, it wouldn’t bother us.
“I’m really happy with the horse.
“I expect him to be fighting out the finish.”
Celebrity Dream heads up the TABtouch market at $1.95, ahead of First Among Equals ($3.50) and Gee Boss ($7).
Wrinkly is rated a $9 chance.
Gee Boss’ trainer Michael Lane said he expected the five-year-old to be ridden quieter on Saturday and indicated the wide barrier maybe to his liking.
“He was super last start,” Lane told TABradio.
“He was due for a bad barrier.
“It gives us a chance to ride him a bit more off the pace, which I thought suited him last start.
“He’ll run a good race.”
This Saturday’s Ascot meeting features the Listed Challenge Stakes (1500m) for the three-year-olds, along with the Cyril Flower Stakes.
Creative Hero is the $2.20 TABtouch favourite for the Challenge Stakes.
Meanwhile, 2017 Railway Stakes winner Great Shot has returned to work ahead of a winter campaign.
Owner Frank Edwards said Great Shot would be aimed initially at the Group 3 Roma Cup (1200m) at Ascot in May and the Group 3 Belmont Sprint (1400m) at Belmont a fortnight later.
Last year, Great Shot finished fifth in the Roma Cup, before he was runner-up in both the Belmont Sprint and Hyperion Stakes to Material Man.