Trader thrown in at the deep end
Emerging talent Trader will take a major step in his career when he takes on a field of seasoned sprinters in the Razor Sharp Handicap at Randwick.
Trainer Anthony Cummings has opted to test Trader in Saturday’s Listed 1200m sprint rather than run him in the Benchmark 85 Randwick Auditorium Handicap (1400m).
A four-year-old who has had just four starts, Trader created a big impression when he fought back after looking well beaten at Rosehill two weeks ago to beat Skytrain over 1300 metres.
"His gallops this week have been excellent and I think he’s good enough to be in this field," Cummings said.
"I’ve always had a big opinion of him. I think he has a lot ahead of him."
Trader’s racing career was delayed as he recovered from shin-soreness and fetlock problems as a young horse.
He won his debut at Bendigo in October and after two unplaced runs at other Victorian tracks, he was brought to Sydney.
After his Rosehill win, Cummings toyed with running him in Saturday’s Group Two Villiers but decided he wasn’t seasoned enough for the tough mile.
Cummings will be without a Villiers runner after deciding to run Vardon Flyer in The Chandon (2000m) rather than the feature event.
Vardon Flyer ran second over 1800 metres last time out to Starzando who caused an upset at $51.
Starzando will be among Vardon Flyer’s rivals on Saturday and is a $16 chance with TAB Sportsbet compared to the latter’s $10.
"I don’t think he’s sharp enough to beat these horses in the Villiers," Cummings said.
"The 2000 metres suits him better and is a good lead-up to the Tatt’s Cup over the same distance on New Year’s Day."
New stable acquisition, apprentice Brenton Avdulla, will ride both Trader and Vardon Flyer while Kerrin McEvoy will be aboard Tallow who puts her Magic Millions credentials on the line.
Ironically, the filly runs in the Inglis Bonus Handicap (1400m) as she attempts to earn a trip to the Gold Coast race day on January 9.
Owned by Magic Millions co-proprietor John Singleton, Tallow ran third at Wyong on December 6, a day sponsored by her owner.
"If she wins this, she will be straight off to the Gold Coast," Cummings said.
"She was a bit unlucky at Wyong, she got a couple of bumps," Cummings said.
"That means now she is a long way down the order for the Magic Millions three-year-old race so she needs to get some more prizemoney.
"The 1400 metres suits, Randwick suits, so I think she can do it."
By Caryl Williamson