Connections of Ancestry are sticking with a winning combination despite the in-form three-year-old being lumped with a big weight for his attempt at a fourth consecutive victory.
The Phillip Stokes-trained Ancestry has 61.5kg in Saturday’s Salute Frontline Workers Handicap (1200m) for three-year-olds at Sandown having won at Pakenham, The Valley and Caulfield at his past three starts carrying between 57kg and 58.5kg in those races.
Connections have opted not to use a claiming apprentice to offset the weight on Saturday, sticking with jockey Ben Thompson who has been aboard in all the gelding’s wins.
“It was a bit of a hard call. He’s not the easiest horse to ride so we elected to keep a senior rider on,” Stokes said.
“I’d say the track will be rain affected to some degree which will not worry him.
“Hopefully he can put another one on the board before maybe going to the paddock.”
Stokes said Ancestry had kept improving during the preparation to register four wins from six starts this campaign.
“He started off this preparation in a maiden at Mornington and was beaten, but we’ve learned a bit about him as well and he’s going really well now,” Stokes said.
“He likes to be up on top of the speed and doesn’t really like being held up.”
Stokes believes Ancestry has maintained his form since his convincing 2-3/4-length win over 1100m on a heavy track against his own age at Caulfield on April 4, carrying 58kg.
“He hasn’t gone backwards,” Stokes said.
“Has he improved? Probably not, but he’s still doing very well.”
Ancestry is one of two last-start Caulfield winners among the Stokes stable’s six acceptors for Sandown.
Too Good Too Hard is the other in the Ladbrokes Back Yourself Handicap (1200m) in which Stokes also has So We Are resuming from a spell.
Stokes is delighted with how Too Good Too Hard is going and the four-year-old mare is being aimed at the Group Three Proud Miss Stakes in Adelaide on May 16.