Trainer John Sadler concedes that there is a question mark over whether or not talented gelding Observational will get the distance when he lines up for the 2016 Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) on Saturday.
A former Macedon Lodge runner, Observational has made only one appearance at a distance greater than 2000m in Australia; the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) in autumn of this year when the horse simply failed to produce much before finishing fourteenth.
Sadler told AAP that he was pleased with Observational’s first-up run in the Antler Luggage BM96 (1600m) on November 5th, but revealed that he is unsure how the five-year-old will handle the conditions of the 2016 Ballarat Cup.
“It was a good run. He didn’t have a lot of luck,” Sadler said.
“There’s a query as to whether the horse can stay or not and one of the reasons why he is probably running in this race and not the Kilmore Cup is that for next time in, I just want to see exactly what his trip is.
“It’s a little bit further and it has been suggested that maybe he’s a better miler. But if he runs the trip, he’ll run very well.”
Observational began his racing career under the guidance of Roger Charlton in 2013 and immediately stamped himself as one of watch; winning the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes (2213m) most notably.
Debuting in Australia and the care of Robert Hickmott for a strong win in the 2015 edition of the Listed Golden Mile (1600m), the Galileo gelding returned to racing for only one 2015 Spring Carnival start before being put away for 2016.
Clearly requiring a run when 12th in the Ascot Racecourse Trophy (1400m) first-up on February 20th, Observational ran seventh in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) and third in the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) in his only other start prior to the Mornington Cup.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2016 Ballarat Cup odds, for which Observational can be taken at a quote of $15 for success.