Coliseo in the running for the Sydney Cup
Despite being installed the ranked outsider in the Sydney Cup this weekend Canberra based trainer Norm Gardner is confident his stable star Coliseo can make his presence felt.
Although unable to feature in the finish in the Group 2 Chairman's Handicap last start Gardner believed his performance had plenty of merit.
"I thought he ran a very good race last start, he covered a lot of ground and managed to still work home well," Gardner said.
"He had quite a tough run from about the 800m and I was very pleased with his effort in the run home.
"I think the way he is travelling and they way he pulled up after his last start that he's an each way hope."
Settling towards the tail of the field Coliseo was forced to make a long sustained run when pulled to the outside in the straight to work home soundly and finish seventh behind Tremec.
While this is clearly his biggest test to date the son Arena has come back in great order and is in career best form having been beaten narrowly in both the Listed Canberra Cup along with the Listed Albury Gold Cup where many will argue he was a moral beaten.
Untried beyond 2600m Gardner remains confident he will be able to see out the two-mile journey on Saturday and couldn't be happier with how he has come through the run.
"The further you get into their preparation the more dour you expect them to be and given the way he ran home last start I'm fairly confident he will see the trip out," Gardner said.
"Obviously you don't know until you actually try but I think his last start performance gave the right indication that he will see it out.
"I could not be happier with him, he's surprised me how well he has pulled up.
"He's normally a pretty laid back sort of horse but he was actually kicking and bucking on the walker last week.
"He hasn't left one skerrick of food and is going terrific."
Having proven successful in last year's Wagga Cup connections elected to stick to their original plan and bypass the opportunity of defending his title in the staying feature.
"This has always been the plan all along and the connections have really been pushing for him to gain a start," Gardner said.
Group 1 winning jockey Peter Robl will ride Coliseo for the first time on Saturday replacing regular rider Jeff Penza.