Asclepius Well Placed To Collect Overdue Win
Progressive galloper Asclepius appears well placed to notch up an overdue win for this preparation when he drops back sharply in grade at Thoroughbred Park tomorrow.
Lining up against only a small field of six, Canberra based trainer Len Hodgson is confident the decision to keep Asclepius over the staying trip of 2000m will prove successful after he has proven very game in defeat in tougher company over the mile.
"I'm pretty happy with him he's raced really well against tougher opposition, it's just his manners that have let him down a bit so I'm hoping he can get it all right tomorrow," Hodgson said.
"He was a little bit ordinary over the trip at Kembla Grange last start but he did run it out and back in easier grade tomorrow I'm confident he'll see out the trip.
"He hit the line really strong over the mile at Seymour two starts back so we would like to see him do the same tomorrow over 2000m."
Backing up very quickly after finishing seventh at Kembla Grange six days ago leaves little concerns for Hodgson as he is very pleased as to how Asclepius is heading into the race.
" I don't think it will worry him at all, he's bucking and kicking around the yard as per normal, he's a pretty tough customer that's one thing we have learnt this preparation," Hodgson said.
With the Matthew Dale trained Notjustaprettyface also accepted to run at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow, Hodgson admits it would make his task a lot easier if Dale elected to scratch her out of tomorrow's event.
"If Notjustaprettyface comes out of the race it will definitely make our job a lot easier tomorrow," Hodgson said.
Drawing the widest barrier in the small field will likely see the son Reset settle towards the tail, however it will all depend on how he travels in the run.
"We do plan to ride him cold tomorrow from the wide draw but it will depend on how the horse reacts with the young bloke on him [Lachlan Pillar]," Hodsgon said.
" I'm going to instruct him that if he wants to get going a bit just to let him roll along but if he jumps and settles like he did at Kembla then he will be at the back."
Hodgson will also saddle up the very promising Santa Fe Chief when he attempts to make it three wins on the trot after resuming in very good order this time in.
"I've been very pleased with him since coming back, he's just on the improve," Hodgson said.
"If I could roll the two horses into one then I would have a very good one.
"Asclepius has all the ability but the penny just won't seem to drop with him were as Santa Fe Chief is a nice horse who just keeps learning as he goes."
Lining up in the sixth race on the card, Hodgson claims he has not been overly surprised with how well he has returned this preparation.
"I thought he was a bit unlucky last preparation, so it hasn't really shocked me to see him come out and perform like he has, he just needed to catch a break," Hodgson said.
"It's funny because he looks nothing like a 1000m horse, he's a big long legged horse who looks like he would be better suited over 2000m.
"But he's franked the form over the 1000m now so I'm going to keep him to the shorter trips until he indicates to me otherwise."
While Hodgson leans towards Asclepius as his more favoured runner tomorrow he has not lost any confidence with Santa Fe Chief.
"If Matthew Dales horse comes out tomorrow then I'd probably say Asclepius is my best however I'm quite keen with Santa Fe Chief all the same," Hodgson said.