David Pfieffer does not blame Pelethronius for Australia’s drought, but he certainly thinks the mudlark is at least a jinx.
The six-year-old has an almost unblemished record on heavy tracks with four wins and a stakes placing from his five starts on rain-soaked ground.
But Pfieffer has struggled to find the right conditions for Pelethronius despite chasing the rain across the eastern seaboard.
“I’d hate to say he’s been a bit of a cause of the drought,” Pfieffer said.
“But we’ve tried to bring him in every winter and last year we chased the rain around Brisbane, we got a wet track up there but then he couldn’t cope with that tight-turning Doomben track.”
Pelethronius will go into Saturday’s Hyland EOFY Sale Handicap (1400m) fitter for two recent runs, including a fifth to the smart Kapajack at Rosehill last Saturday.
Pfieffer reckons the horse is going well enough to end his two-year hiatus from the winner’s list – if the Randwick track remains in the heavy range.
“He’s obviously been out of the winner’s circle for a very long time but we have been in a drought for the last two years as well,” Pfieffer said.
“I think it’s the first time I’ve backed him up, I’m curious to see how that will pan out but he’s come through the run good and he’s bright and well within himself so I expect him to race well.”
Pfieffer is also upbeat about the chances of Ghostly in the Moet & Chandon Rose Sprint (1200m).
A brilliant first-up winner of the Town Plate at Wagga Wagga, the backmarker was not suited by the race pattern when unplaced behind Noble Boy at Eagle Farm last month.
Pfieffer has deliberately spaced his runs and Ghostly has a handy wet track record.
“It showed the key to him at Wagga. We gave him a let-up and a trial and took him down there and that’s probably the best he’s raced for me,” Pfieffer said.
“He’s got wet track form and there looks to be plenty of speed in the race.”
While Pfieffer will be happy to see a heavy surface for Pelethronius and Ghostly, stablemate Bombarding is likely to be saved for another day if the track remains in that range.