Adam Durrant’s charge towards a second trainer’s premiership will gather momentum with a strong team engaged at Belmont on Saturday, headed by form stayer Chester Road in the Tabozbet.com.au Handicap (2000m).
Chester Road is emerging as Durrant’s best stayer with summer carnival aspirations and with the field whittled down to just four runners, the Tiger Hill gelding will be at short odds to continue his recent run of success.
Chester Road has won four races this preparation from five starts including last fortnight when he led from the outset to defeat stable mate and the fast-finishing Mr Moet by a neck margin.
“I think he is going to be a better horse with a sit but there is no pace in these staying races and if you don’t take the initiative it can lead to his downfall as evidenced two starts back behind I Don’t Recall,” Durrant said.
Durrant said stable mate Once A Week was on notice when she tackles the twitter.com/perthracing Handicap (2000m).
The Dr Johnson mare hasn’t raced since earlier in May when unplaced behind Leoluck but warmed up for her return with a trial win over 1400m.
“She sat last and hit the line hard although in a weak line up,” said Durrant.
“If the right horse turns up before she injured a suspensory last year you would be pretty confident she could round this field up.
“But if she doesn’t perform she will be heading to the breeding barn.”
Underrated galloper Texan has been one of the surprise packets of the season with the former New South Wales galloper claiming four wins and three placings from eight runs.
The only occasion he has missed a placing was two starts back when fourth to Right Time over 1000m.
Durrant said he can see no reason why the son of Stratum can’t maintain his strike rate in the facebook.com/perthracing Handicap (1200m).
“It’s hard to see him not finishing in the first three,” said Durrant.
“From his wide barrier he should roll forward and sit outside the leader or take up the running.
“You really can put him anywhere and he finishes strongly.
“If he gets average luck he will be in the top three.”
Texan will step from barrier ten for jockey Peter Hall.
Durrant believes Durrahmoore can round out the last on a winning note and improve on her first-up run last month.
The Love A Dane mare drew wide and was never in the hunt when running 12th of 15 behind Lindsey Smith’s Desire Path.
Durrahmoore, with a win and a third placing from two second-up attempts, will jump from barrier six and carry 55kg with the claim of Joseph Azzopardi.
“Her first-up appearance wasn’t as bad as it appeared and she still ran good sectionals,” said Durrant.
“I’m making a few gear adjustments including taking the bar shoes off and putting blinkers on.
“She won’t want to get too far out of her ground but if she can take a handy position she will be in the mix.
Durrant also rates Devlish Intent a strong winning chance in the perthracing.com.au Handicap (1650m) and said Great Wall Of China will be ridden from behind.
The Karnup horseman has prepared 38 metropolitan winners for the season and leads Jim Taylor by five.