Tuesday, 10 July 2012
Ross Stitt, one of only three trainers to have a runner in the Ramornie Handicap and the Grafton Cup, is banking on a form reversal to set up a shot at one of NSW country racing's most prized doubles.
Stitt will saddle up the Grafton Cup favourite Southern Shimmer but he is equally excited about Youthful Jack claiming the first leg of the double when the annual carnival continues on Wednesday.
Youthful Jack is the Ramornie topweight with 58kg but bookmakers have all but ignored his claims in the Listed race and he remained friendless in betting on Tuesday as a $15 chance.
"I think he is great odds," Stitt said.
Youthful Jack failed in the wet in the Takeover Target Stakes at Gosford last month but has since worked like the sprinter who has banked almost $1 million in stakes.
"He's put in three bad runs in his life and they have all been on bog tracks," Stitt said.
"I haven't been able to fault his work since Gosford.
"Anything on the fence at Gosford that day couldn't figure so you have to forget about it."
Youthful Jack finished down the course in the 2010 Ramornie when at the end of a long campaign.
"He was over the top then whereas now he is on the way up," Stitt said.
Stitt is chasing his first Ramornie victory and he will be trying to make amends for Precise Timing finishing second in the 2006 Grafton Cup when this year's staying feature is run on Thursday.
Southern Shimmer hasn't won this campaign but Stitt said the Grafton Cup had been a long-range target.
"I reckon he's had no luck whatsoever in six of the seven runs he's had this time and I've had this race picked out for 12 months," Stitt said.
He said he would recommend to jockey Robert Thompson to have Southern Shimmer closer to the speed.
Thompson, who posted his only Grafton Cup win in 1981, will also ride Youthful Jack.
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