Carry The Nation will carry high expectations when he returns home to contest the final heat of the Skyracing TV Provincial Championship Series (1400m) at Albany on Thursday.
The Blackfriars gelding ran ninth of 15 to Solsay at Ascot a fortnight ago, but it may pay to dismiss the run as he was unable to find clear galloping room in the home straight.
Carry the Nation was near last on turning before sprinting sharply over the finals stages when jockey Kyra Yuill pursued an inside running.
The Mark Nelson-trained galloper was denied his third successive victory after scoring back-to-back wins over 1600m and 1100m respectively at Albany.
“He didn’t enjoy the best of runs last time out but back on his home track where he is unbeaten and with an ounce of luck in running he will be hard to beat,” said Nelson.
“But don’t discount top weight Plain Lucky who in this type of company and from an astute stable must be respected.”
Plain Lucky, a former eastern states galloper, impressed when he scored a first-up win at Pinjarra last month before a fourth and fifth placing at Ascot when hampered by wide gates.
The Adam Durrant-trained gelding, a winner of two races in Melbourne, has drawn favourably in barrier four and with the claim of apprentice jockey Ben Paterson will carry 59.5kg.
Kylie Dowling said Surtifier won’t be worried by his outside gate and is keen to capitalise on the gelding’s recent form.
The son of Surtee won at Kalgoorlie defeating The Key Cutter before trailing Silver Business by a length at Albany last week.
The Skyracing TV Provincial Championship Series will be Surtifier’s 14th consecutive start since debuting at Ascot last November.
“I had planned on giving him a spell but he shows no signs of slowing down or training off,” said Dowling.
“While he is in good form I will just let him roll along and continue.
“He should run another competitive race.”
Stable mate Supernova has displayed improved form and Dowling believes he is on the cusp of scoring his first Western Australian win in the Facebook Handicap (1400m).
The Tobougg gelding has been placed on five occasions since arriving from New South Wales, including a one length second to Rock Prince at Albany last week.
Supernova dashed out of the gates and attempted to lead all-the-way before fading late over the 1500m journey.
“That was his first run in three weeks and he will strip fitter for the outing,” Dowling said.
“From barrier one he will get an easy run.
“He should be thereabouts.”
Ebony Blues enters the Karon Swan Photography Handicap (1800m) with renewed confidence after landing her second win this campaign in determined fashion.
The Blackfriars mare sat camped behind early leader Jack ‘N’ Nort before taking the lead and resisting the challenge from Bombard over 2000m.
Dowling doesn’t believe a drop back in distance will pose any problems for Ebony Blues who will jump from barrier eight for apprentice jockey Ellie Cockram.
“She won over 1800m at Mount Barker earlier in January so that doesn’t concern me,” said Dowling.
“She is racing well enough but this is a good field and she will have to be at her best.”