Stockman hasn’t featured in a brace of runs over two-miles, but Joe Pride is adamant the horse can bely that statistic this autumn.
The six-year-old stayer is again on a Sydney Cup path, via Saturday’s Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick, and his trainer is hoping for a case of third time lucky when he gets to the 3200m race on April 8.
Stockman got well out of his ground from a wide gate in last year’s Sydney Cup, making late headway to finish seventh in a leader-dominated race and again had too much work to do from back in the field when eighth to Gold Trip in the Melbourne Cup.
“He’s had no luck in both the two-mile runs he’s had so I’ll give it another go,” Pride said.
“His closing sections in the Melbourne Cup were really good and you can’t do that if you don’t run two-miles.”
While Stockman won over 1600m as a younger horse, his best recent form is over middle-distances and beyond.
He failed to beat a rival home first-up in the Apollo Stakes (1400m) but ran creditably to finish within six lengths of winner Anamoe, and while he again isn’t expected to threaten the favourites on Saturday, Pride is hoping to see Stockman hitting the line.
“Coming back from a Melbourne Cup you don’t expect them to be too flash over 1400 but he closed off alright,” Pride said of Stockman’s first-up run.
“He will close off well again on Saturday and in two weeks’ time he will be back in the Sky High (Stakes) which he won last year.
“He’s going super. He’s not going to trouble the scorer but he’s going to run well.”
A wet track specialist who has posted seven of his eight wins on rain-affected ground, Stockman will be ridden by regular partner Sam Clipperton and has barrier 10.
– RAS NewsWire