Conscript Fighting Fit For Latest Battle

Most horses derive natural improvement from their first-up run, but the fitness benefits will be even more pronounced for Conscript when he steps out for his second campaign start at Randwick.

The five-year-old was narrowly beaten by a race-fit Astero when resuming on a heavy track at Rosehill in April, an effort all the more meritorious given he went into it off a limited foundation.

“He got balloted out of two trials which is why he went to the races without a trial, and he hadn’t even had a jump out,” co-trainer Gerald Ryan said.

“But he didn’t miss a beat and it’s strange, he’s had a race now and two weeks later we’re able to get a trial into him, so he had a tick-along trial last Friday and the horse appears to be going well.

“This is a step up in grade, but you can’t get a more honest horse than him.”

Conscript has seven wins and six placings from 18 starts and while he will be taking on the likes of stakes performers Malkovich, Titanium Power, Dragonstone and Fox Fighter in Saturday’s SCCF James Tedesco Outreach Program Handicap (1100m), he does get into the race with just 51.5kg after the claim of apprentice Reece Jones.

The gelding will clash with stablemate The Face, who has been competitive all preparation including when fifth in the Group 3 Star Kingdom Stakes (1200m) in March and in filling the same position behind rising star Think About It in the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) last time out.

With plenty of pace in Saturday’s sprint, Ryan is hoping The Face can show another string to his bow by stalking the speed, rather than setting it.

“He should be able to get a sit on Saturday off a hot speed and I think the race maps out well for him,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ryan confirmed two-year-old Californian is likely to remain in Sydney for the Wilson Asset Management Handicap (1400m) after drawing well in barrier five.

The colt is also an acceptor for the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) in Brisbane but has gate 17 and while a final decision will be made in consultation with Californian’s owners, Ryan is leaning towards running him at Randwick ahead of his main target, next month’s Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm.

“My preference would be to stay here and race here,” Ryan said.

“I know it’s a $1 million, Group Two race up there but barrier 17 from that start is nearly impossible.

“He’s going towards the Atkins, so it doesn’t matter where he runs.”

– RAS NewsWire

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