Varying barrier fortunes and weather forecasts haven’t rained on David Jolly’s parade as the veteran Adelaide trainer eyes tri-state winners this weekend.
In a first during his 22-year career, Jolly has runners across three states at Caulfield, Randwick and Morphettville on Saturday.
Behemoth ($14) will lead Jolly’s charge in Sydney as part of the $500,000 Silver Eagle, while Roccabascerana ($11) is rated an outside chance for the $2 million Caulfield Guineas.
On-pacer Roccabascerana jumps from gate one in the classic mile, but Behemoth wasn’t so lucky.
The four-year-old gelding, staying at Brad Widdup’s Hawkesbury stable where he trialled clockwise on Tuesday, drew barrier 12 of 12 much to Jolly’s chagrin.
But he remains upbeat about Behemoth’s chances despite admitting the wide gate was far from ideal.
“He’s usually a horse that likes being ridden off the speed,” Jolly told AAP on Thursday.
“I would have preferred somewhere in the middle to get a bit of cover.”
With showers forecast for Friday and Saturday, Jolly believes the outside draw could be a blessing in disguise if the inside deteriorates before the 1300m feature – the eighth on Randwick’s nine-race card.
“It can happen when you get a wide draw that later in the day, when that rain comes, the inside chews up a bit and you can find yourself in better ground,” he said.
“Maybe given the forecast, it’s not the end of the world.”
Although untried on heavy ground, Behemoth has solid form on soft tracks under his belt with a win and two seconds in six starts.
“He’s a big horse,” Jolly said.
“I’m always a bit nervous about him on hard tracks. I’d probably prefer him to race on tracks with give anywhere between a five and seven range.”
Jolly concedes Behemoth will have to “rise to another level” to match the main contenders, with The Inevitable ($2.60), Fasika ($5) and Mizzy ($6.50) leading the betting.
But he is hopeful his rising star, the son of Caulfield Guineas winner and Cox Plate runner-up All Too Hard, has the class to perform under the right conditions.
“The pedigree says he gets a little bit further,” Jolly said.
“But to me, he’s probably a good 1200m to 1400m horse. He likes solid tempo in his races.
“If he gets a solid tempo, a bit of sting out of the track and there’s a bit of run on, we’ll be able to see what he can do.”
Regardless of whether he claims a Golden Eagle ticket via a top-three finish in Saturday’s prelude, Behemoth will remain at Hawkesbury while Jolly returns to his Goolwa base.
“There’s a couple of other races that we’ve got on the radar,” Jolly said.
“Plan A would be the Golden Eagle. Plan B, I think, is the Redzel Stakes the same day, or something similar, that he could probably contest if he wasn’t to get in.
“Saturday will tell the story.”