Albany trainer Steve Wolfe is confident Lordhelpmerun can overcome top weight and a betting drift when the talented three-year-old launches his return to racing at Belmont on Saturday.
Last season’s Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) champion has been allocated 60kg and is a noted TAB drifter, going from $2.50 out to $5 in the Happy 90th Birthday Leo Loughnan Plate (1200m).
Lordhelpmerun, third to Valour Road in the Karrakatta Plate (1200m) last April, looked primed for his first-up run after a powerful 1000m trial win at Belmont two weeks ago.
The Playing God gelding confronts a field of seven first-up, headed by $1.70 favourite Dance Music, a War Chant filly prepared by Simon Miller, who hasn’t been beaten in two starts.
Wolfe admits he is a little surprised Lordhelpmerun has been easy with punters.
“I thought I might have to call the vets when he went out to $5, I thought he may have broken a leg or something,” Wolfe said
“But he is a nice horse and everything has been okay with him so far. His trial was very good, but this is a pretty handy field.”
Lordhelpmerun will start from barrier six and be ridden by Shaun McGruddy. Expected leader Dance Music has drawn barrier two. William Pike has given supporters a lead by electing to ride the filly over Final Hearing.
The Sean Casey-trained Pablo’s Poem, a tough last-start maiden winner over Agent Pippa, is likely to apply the pressure outside of the leader. The talented grey Lope De Vega gelding, jumps from barrier three for Pat Carbery.
Wolfe believes Lordhelpmerun will be come into strong contention if Dance Music and Pablo’s Poem can set a strong tempo and go hard out in front.
“If the pace had been on a bit more in the Karrakatta I think he would have won that,” Wolfe said.
“Hopefully the pressure is on all the way and we can apply the pressure as a true race should be run.”
After opening a $6 chance on Thursday, Pablo’s Poem has been a big firmer, coming into $3.80 and second pick behind Dance Music.