Conditions Key For Congo In All Aged Stakes

Track conditions at Randwick will be crucial to the chances of In The Congo adding another Group 1 win to his resume in the All Aged Stakes.

The Tulloch Lodge colt was having just his second run off an extended break when finishing a game second to the in-form Mazu in the Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) last weekend.

Co-trainer Adrian Bott said In The Congo wasn’t at home on the very heavy ground and he was banking on the forecast for mainly fine weather in Sydney this week to help the track rating improve for Saturday’s All Aged Stakes (1400m) meeting.

“He was very gallant in defeat,” Bott said.

“I don’t think he necessarily enjoyed those conditions. He was beaten on his merits by a better horse on the day who was deeper into his campaign and maybe enjoyed those conditions a bit more.

“He will either back up in the All Aged Stakes but with that in mind about the track conditions, we may look to freshen him up towards those sprints in Queensland.”

The colt will be striving to become the first three-year-old since Trapeze Artist four years ago to topple the older horses and he is the only member of his age group to be named in the All Aged Stakes field.

Fellow three-year-olds Overpass and Mr Mozart have been made first and third emergency respectively, while Galaxy winner Shelby Sixtysix has also failed to make the cut and is the second reserve.

Trapeze Artist’s trainer Gerald Ryan saddles up Ellsberg, who drops back to 1400m after finishing a respectable seventh in the Doncaster Mile (1600m) on a heavy 9 track.

Ryan believes he will be better suited over the shorter course, and on an improving surface, although he says the four-year-old has a strong fitness base if conditions are testing.

He regards him as a genuine threat in a typically open renewal of the race.

“He’s probably not quite up to a mile in that company,” Ryan said of Ellsberg’s Doncaster effort.

“I do think the horse is a better horse on top of the ground but if the track stays like this, well he is fit and hard and going into it two weeks after a Doncaster.

“It’s always a good race and you’ve often got your three-year-olds coming in, like Trapeze Artist did.”

A capacity field of 14 was paid up on Wednesday, including the past two All Aged Stakes winners, Tofane (2020) and Kolding (2021), along with beaten Doncaster Mile favourite Forbidden Love and Queen Of The Turf Stakes winner Nimalee.

Tulloch Lodge will have two runners with last-start Sunline Stakes winner Shout The Bar joining In The Congo in the feature.

– RAS NewsWire

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