Thompson wants Derby pair to settle better
Trainer John Thompson’s greatest concern with talented colts Onemorenomore and Gathering in Saturday’s $1.5 million Victoria Derby at Flemington is getting them to settle to run out the 2500 metres of the Classic.
AJC Champagne Stakes winner Onemorenomore and Gathering ran second and third to Derby favourite Shamoline Warrior in the Group Three Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) on Caulfield Cup day after overracing in first and second positions respectively.
"My two horses they beat each other, they got six lengths out in front of the field," Thompson said.
"Around the corner the favourite Shamoline Warrior loomed up beside them and looked like he was going to beat them by three lengths and he only beat them by a length and a bit.
"So if they don’t go silly like that again there is a good chance they could turn it around."
With Glen Boss, who rode Onemorenomore in the Norman Robinson, under suspension Thompson has engaged three-time Victoria Derby-winning jockey Damien Oliver who will ride the Red Ransom colt for the first time in a race on Saturday.
"We’ll probably just put a set of rings on him to give a little bit more control but we’ll leave that (settling him) up to Ollie," Thompson said.
"There’s no better than Ollie, he got along nicely with him this morning and hopefully he can turn it around.
"He needs to learn to relax and if anything is going to teach him it’s this long work for the Derby, so if he settles he’ll be right there. He’s a top quality colt, he’s just doing things wrong in his races.
"Next time in there probably won’t be a problem, but I’ve taken him over in the middle of a campaign and it has been very frustrating."
Thompson learned his trade as stable foreman at Randwick for master trainer Bart Cummings for eight years before taking over the Warwick Farm training operation of Nathan Tinkler’s Patinack Farm from Jason Coyle less than three months ago.
He said his training style and that of Coyle were like chalk and cheese.
Thompson said Coyle was a sprinting trainer giving them short, sharp work.
"Like Mr Cummings I teach them to relax and finish off," he said.
Thompson said that in similar style to Cummings he gives his horses a lot of long pace work.
"Not necessarily fast work but a lot of mileage in the legs, feed them harder and work them harder," he said.
"That will improve a horse like Onemorenomore for his next preparation having him from the start.
"Obviously the distance is a concern but with that long Bart Cummings work it is going to settle him down hopefully."
Onemorenomore and Gathering worked stylishly together out wide on the course proper at Flemington on Tuesday running 2000m in 2:22.17 and coming home the last 400m in an impressive 22.57 seconds.
"There wasn’t much between them. They are two quality colts and are going well for Saturday," Thompson said.
Peter Robl, who has ridden Gathering in three of his last four starts, replaces Chris Munce who rode him in the Norman Robinson.
"He’s tough, he’ll be up on the speed and he’ll be there for a long way," Thomson said of the Tale Of The Cat colt who who was runner-up to Derby rival Monaco Consul in the Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) on a heavy track at Randwick two starts ago.
"Peter (Robl) knows him better than anybody. He’s had good success with him."
Gathering finished six lengths in front of Onemorenomore who raced ungenerously in the Spring Champion Stakes, finishing sixth.
In other Derby news, Western Australian trainer Neville Parnham told Racing Victoria stewards he would not be accepting with Bridgestone on Wednesday due to the Pentire colt having a respiratory condition.
Peter Moody also decided not to go on to the Derby with last Saturday’s AAMI Vase winner Hanks.
Moody had been 50-50 on a Derby run for Hanks and made the decision after the Encosta De Lago gelding worked on his home track at Caulfield on Tuesday.
By Mark Ryan