Graham Yuill wasn’t disappointed by Maschino’s failure in last fortnight’s Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m) and predicts the 1400m of Sunday’s $100,000 Listed APH Contractors-Bunbury Stakes will produce a form turnaround.
The exciting Bunbury galloper, ridden by Yuill’s daughter Kyra, was unplaced when he ran 11th of 14 to Railway Stakes placegetter and resurgent galloper Westriver Kevydonn.
The son of Encosta De Lago ruined his chances early after a slow beginning from the barriers before running 34.51sec for the final 600m.
Maschino, resuming after posting successive wins at Ascot last December, attracted solid support from punters and was sent out the clear favourite.
“He didn’t deserve favouritism as he had never won over the journey previously and once he missed the start the race was as good as over,” Yuill said.
“He received a knock to his stifle just prior or as the gates were opening which caused his head to rear.
“You can’t give a top field of sprinters a start and expect to get over the top of them.
“In the circumstances to run the final 600m in the second quickest time was a terrific effort.
“He will be improved by the step up to 1400m.
“His work during the week was super and I couldn’t be happier with him.”
Westriver Kevydonn is racing in rare form with six wins and three placings from his past nine starts and displayed typical tenacity to hold out Mabel Grace in the Cyril Flower Stakes.
The Danetime gelding will be forced to carry top weight of 59.5kg and has drawn wide in barrier ten, but jockey Pat Carbery is confident the six-year-old will be hard to beat.
“The draw and weight is of no concern,” said a confident Carbery.
“He is racing in terrific form and this isn’t the strongest Bunbury Stakes field.
“I can see no reason why he can’t win again.”
Caves Road had been racing in top fashion against slightly easier company and wasn’t disgraced when unplaced behind Westriver Kevydonn in the Cyril Flower Stakes.
The Lion Heart gelding was forced to settle back from his wide alley but finished the race off strongly and was only 2 1/2 lengths from the winner.
Trainer Lindsey Smith believes Caves Road can bridge the gap after drawing ideally in barrier five.
“I think he has the perfect barrier and if he can be in the first six or seven it gives him a live chance,” said Smith.