Quick Thinker winning the Gr.3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) at Rosehill. Photo credit: bradleyphotos.com.au
Andrew Forsman, who trains in partnership with Murray Baker, is welcoming the forecast rain ahead of the Gr.1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The Cambridge trainers will line-up Quick Thinker and Rhaegar in the Sydney feature and believe a wet track will benefit their runners who finished first and fourth respectively on a Heavy9 surface in the Gr.3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) at Rosehill in August.
“We would welcome the rain, given the way Quick Thinker performed at Rosehill on what was a pretty tough track,” Forsman said.
“He got through it well enough that day. We were a little bit worried, but he seemed to handle it okay.
“More than anything, it might hold the favourite (Shadow Hero) up a little bit.”
Shadow Hero got the better of both Quick Thinker (third) and Rhaegar (7th) in the Gr.3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill last month.
“They went hard mid-stages and it was always going to be set-up for a horse like him (Shadow Hero) with a big finish,” Forsman said.
“I am sure they won’t go that hard again and if there is any easing in the track, that could trip him up.”
Rhaegar took a front-running position in the Gloaming and Forsman said they will try and avoid those tactics when he jumps from barrier nine on Saturday.
“The plan was to be positive with Rhaegar and give him a bit of a dig, but I think what happened was Gai’s (Waterhouse, trainer) horse, Just Thinkin’, didn’t come across and he ended up in front and just got going too keen when he saw daylight.
“There was not a lot Jason (Collett, jockey) could have done, it’s just the way it all panned out.
“A raw inexperienced horse having not run for a month and having his first run beyond 1400m, it all just got a bit too much for him.
“Hopefully he doesn’t ping out of the gates on Saturday and want to go again, that would be the worry. That’s going to be Jason’s thing he will have to work out.
“The intention will be to try and ride him with a bit of a sit.
Forsman said they have been receiving positive reports on Quick Thinker from caretaker trainer Bjorn Baker.
“Quick Thinker has worked up well. He is a very laidback horse, he’s not the sharpest track worker of the two.
“He has always looked good and he hit the line well enough last start given that he hadn’t raced for a month.
“I am more than happy with him heading into it.”
While Forsman will be in Sydney, Baker will oversee proceedings in Melbourne on Saturday where they will be represented by Madison County and The Chosen One.
Madison County will be having his second-up run in the Gr.1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) after finishing ninth in the Gr.1 Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last month.
Forsman believes the son of Pins will have his work cut out at Caulfield on Saturday where he will carry 58kg from barrier 19.
“It is certainly not going to be easy and not what we had banked on heading into it, but you can’t do much about that (the draw),” he said.
“He will need a lot of luck to be winning.
“It has been three weeks since his first-up run. He’s a little bit behind where he needs to be and from the draw, with the weight, it’s going to make it twice as hard.
“If he has this run on Saturday we can reassess and make a bit of a plan for him.”
The Baker-Forsman barn will also line-up The Chosen One in the Gr.2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) after two unplaced runs in the Gr.2 Feehan Stakes (1600m) and Gr.1 Underwood Stakes (1800m).
“He will wear blinkers and a tongue control bit. In the parade ring (last start) he was just getting his tongue back and over the bit.
“He didn’t race with his tongue over the bit. They did the bridle up a bit tighter and it seemed to be okay during the run. But it is something we are trying to eliminate.
“He has raced with blinkers before in New Zealand, so we have put the blinkers back on him and hopefully that sharpens him up because we were a little bit disappointed the other day.
“He had every possible chance to join in and do something. We have to be a little bit forgiving. He was second up in his four-year-old campaign at weight-for-age and I am sure he is better than what he showed and I think he is capable of being a weight-for-age horse in time.
“Back to a handicap, he looks very well placed.”