Saturday, 12 May 2012
: Honest galloper Wealthy Lad can record an overdue win when the Winter Championship series kicks off at Cranbourne today.
| Jungle Ruler - will take catching in today's Winter Championship Heat|
Photo by Racing and Sports
The popular series, with a host of heats at both the provincials and in town, culminates in a Listed $150,000 final at Flemington as part of finals day towards the end of the season.
Today's TROA Luxbet Winter Championship Handicap (race 7) is heat one of the series over 1300m and it looks a good race for Wealthy Lad
who last won seven runs ago.
The Robert Smerdon
trained gelding has had some good form since then, though following the win with two consecutive placings before a disappointing run on dry ground in the Listed Hareeba Stakes at Mornington.
He had almost two months break before resuming over 1000m at Caulfield where he was turned well back and battled away to finish last, but only 3.5 lengths form the winner in an unsuitable trip.
Up to 1100m there he was fitter and ran on late to finish sixth, albeit 6.6 lengths away from the winner, before finally getting to not only a suitable journey but also his preferred soft ground.
That was at Warrnambool over their three day carnival where he tackled a 1400m open handicap with 56.5kg in heavy ground.
Settling fourth in the run he loomed up in the straight but couldn't catch Jungle Ruler, who relished the heavy ground best.
Wealthy Lad meets the winner 1.5kg better this time and has drawn the inside, where he should be camped just off Jungle Ruler again who is expected to lead them out.
The soft track suits, the trip suits and he drops to the minimum 54kg.
It looks an ideal race and he should get the chance to break through.
The Judy Mawer trained Lord Pyrus
might want a little further but has a touch of class and is expected to run well fresh.
The good looking black galloper wasn't disgraced at huge odds in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap four back before finishing runner up in the Sale Cup, a race certainly stronger than this.
He was then fourth in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes, another top run out of his grade, before a disappointing effort at Moonee Valley so he then went for a break.
While he doesn't boast the best fresh up record this is one of the easier races he's contested in a while and he does have an excellent record on his home track, with three wins and two placings from five runs.
He also has a strong record at the trip and with a second placing in a recent trial under his belt he looks set to run a big race fresh.Sophrosyne
is a lightly raced galloper who may also want a little further but looks well placed here fresh.
The Mike Moroney trained gelding hasn't raced since a heat 11 of this series almost a year ago so obviously had a set back.
He is suited in this grade, has won his only try at the track, loves the soft tracks and should be running on strongly.Jungle Ruler
has a big weight but will be fitter for his last start win and will give a sight again.
While some of his rivals might lack a bit of race fitness Jungle Ruler is better for the two runs back, the latest an all the way win over 1400m at Warrnambool.
He carried 61kg to success there so drops 1.5kg for this and has drawn better.
He has a good record at the course, and just loves soft ground, the wetter the better.
There's no doubt he'll give a big sight again.
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