Jim Taylor has solid representation at Belmont on Saturday but he has a strong leaning to Travellin’ in the Racing Hall Of Fame Inductee Northerly Handicap (1000m).
The Bullsbrook trainer will saddle up Juendis, Secret Nova, Barraki Beats, Gigante and Drupa, but expects Travellin’ to rebound strongly after last week’s defeat.
Travellin’ went forward and attempted to apply the pressure to pacesetter, Military Reign, but compounded at the top of the straight and faded to fifth.
“He is probably better suited sitting where the other day we tried to put the pressure on and we were run off the bit,” Taylor said on TABradio.
“We thought that was the only way we could beat, Military Ruler, but it’s probably a carnival horse and we are mid-week to weak Saturday company.
“He had to run out of his comfort zone, but back to his own class you would think he is going to be very competitive.”
Travellin’ will carry 56.5kg with the claim of, Clint Johnston-Porter. The Passenger gelding will jump from barrier three.
He is a $4.80 chance with the TAB. Heading the market at $3.30 is, Tudor Bolt, who is racing first-up this campaign.
Taylor steps out Secret Nova in the Racing Hall Of Fame Inductee Eurythmic Handicap (1000m), but believes the mare could be racing for the minor prize.
The daughter of So Secret, who won of a hatrick of races at Ascot before spelling in February, ran second to Puteri Jewel in a 1000m Lark Hill trial.
However; Taylor says $2.25 favourite, Military Reign, on the quick turnaround after bouncing back to lead all the way last week, holds all the aces and will be hard to defeat.
“She is as ready as she could be, but the favourite is very well weighted for a horse that has beaten Magnifisio and Wink And A Nod,” Taylor said.
“You would think at set weights and penalties it has got in very well on the weights, so we would be battling to beat it, but we should run second.”
Secret Nova, who has found the money in 12 of 15 starts with five wins, has drawn barrier four for her regular rider, Jason Brown.
She is rated a $4.60 chance with Military Reign’s stable mate, Rebel King, at $4.40, the only other runner in single figure odds.
Taylor believes he will get a good idea on how Juendis is developing when he tackles a hot line up headed by, Vega Magic, in the Racing Hall Of Fame Inductee Arthur Ward Handicap (1200m).
The consistent Demerit three-year-old was denied a blemish free campaign when a short-head third to Dezzies Dream in an exciting three way photo finish at Belmont last start.
Taylor says, Gigante, is never far away, but finds it difficult to win and Barraki Beats, also contesting the Racing Hall Of Fame Inductee Damien Oliver Handicap (1200m), will be better suited when stepping up to 1400m.
Drupa rounds out the meeting in the Racing Hall Of Fame Inductee Angus Armanasco Handicap (2100m), the gelding’s first attempt at the journey.
“On a wet track he may be found wanting in the last 200 metres,” Taylor said.
“After this run he will be right to go over ground.”
RWWA: Julio Santarelli