Enjoying a bright start to his career, Participator heads to Sydney on Saturday to contest the 1200m event in just his third outing.
Winning both career starts to date, the lightly raced three-year-old son of Contributer has not gone unnoticed by the handicappers and will be forced to lug the top weight of 59kgs.
Having trained his fair share of smart horses, Donnelly is confident his gelding is more than capable of making his presence felt in Saturday’s race.
“I couldn’t have hoped for him to do any better than what he’s already done,” Donnelly said.
“He’s got a lot of upside and he’s from a good sire which gives him a chance to be a good horse.
Possessing a lethal turn of foot, Donnelly is not concerned by the anticipated wet conditions and is instead just hopeful that the three-year-old can draw low and be able to conserve his energy in the run.
“He’s drawn well in both his starts and gotten into a good position, so we are hoping for something similar,” Donnelly said.
“I’d obviously prefer to be running on a good track because I know he handles that, but I don’t think a soft track would pose any problems for him.
“He’s out of a More Than Ready mare and they usually love the wet.
“His mother actually ran third in a Listed race on a Heavy 11 in New Zealand.”
After Saturday’s race, Donnelly is eager to send his gelding straight to the paddock wrapped in cotton wool in preparation for the next year’s Country Championships.
Excited for the Autumn prospects, Donnelly can’t help but draw comparisons to a fellow talented Wagga Wagga galloper; Another One.
“With this race on Saturday, his form is nearly a carbon copy of Another One,” Donnelly said.
“The first two-year-old race we won, Another One came second in it to Lion’s Roar who then came out and won the same two-year-old race that Participator won last month.
“It’s a good parallel between them. Another One won the Country Champs’ heat here and then ran second in the final.”
The $500,000 Country Championships Final will be run on April 2, 2022, at Randwick Racecourse.
– RAS NewsWire