Good draw key to Third Man's chances
Trainer Rick Worthington is sweating on the barrier draw for Third Man ahead of Saturday’s $250,000 Inglis Classic at Rosehill.
Third Man has continued to please Worthington going into the race after losing his debut on protest at Randwick on January 9.
The gelding dead-heated for first with Zutara but was relegated to third in the 1000m race after drifting out badly over the closing stages, causing interference to two other runners.
Zutara was declared the winner while fellow Inglis Classic hopeful Ilovethiscity was promoted to second.
Third Man jumped from the widest alley, 13, and led early before travelling second outside More Than Words for the best part of the trip.
On straightening, Third Man hit the front and kicked strongly before tiring over the final 150 metres.
"I feel if he had drawn a barrier it would have been a more favourable result," Worthington said.
"We’ve had a bad gate now and we’re due for a change of luck on that front and hopefully that can be somebody else’s problem."
Worthington is expecting Third Man to thrive over the extra 200 metres on Saturday.
"He’s not a true 1000 metre horse, we’ve been training him for further," Worthington said.
"He was forced to tough it out the other day and that’s not necessarily his true racing pattern.
"Without giving too much away tactically for Saturday, I guarantee he’ll get 1400 and I’m confident he’ll get a mile (1600m) later on."
Under normal circumstances, Worthington would not have run Third Man at Randwick from the bad alley.
"I don’t like doing that to two-year-olds but I did feel he had enough education not to make a fool of himself and us," Worthington said.
"But more importantly he needed that run to top him off for the Inglis Classic.
"There’s no point going into a high pressure race if you’re underdone."
Third Man is by boom first season sire Snitzel whose progeny continued their impressive strike rate in the city on Saturday when the Gerald Ryan-trained Top Drop scored at Rosehill.
It follows recent metropolitan wins by One More Grand, Intertidal (two) and Inglis Classic fancy Chance Bye.
The Michael Tubman-trained Chance Bye underlined her credentials for the Classic with a dominant win in the Inglis Nursery (1000m) at Randwick on December 19.
"We’ve got another Snitzel at home too. She’s an unnamed filly who I rate very highly," Worthington said.
"It’s certainly nice to have a couple of good Snitzels in the stables.
By Russell Jackson