Performer has to overcome a wide barrier if he is to regain his two year old hype when he steps out for the first time as a three year old in the Group 3 $150,000 Singapore Airlines San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Performer as drawn barrier eight in the nine horse San Domenico Stakes field and trainer Chris Waller said that was one negative the Exceed And Excel colt had to deal with.
“I guess you can say that the draw in a bit of a negative,” Waller said.
Performer created a huge impression with two wins from his first two race starts as a two year old in the Listed $150,000 Arrowfield Breeders’ Plate (1000m) at Randwick during the 2017 Spring Carnival and then in the Group 3 $150,000 Toyota Material Handling Canonbury Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill during the 2018 Autumn Carnival.
Then at his next race start the colt dumped jockey Hugh Bowman in the straight when he ducked out at the 250m in the Group 2 $300,000 UNSW Todman Stakes (1200m) at Randwick and then a wide barrier put paid to his chances in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill.
Waller said that Performer has returned from a spell in great order and indicated that he is ready to run well with Hugh Bowman back on board following a 900m barrier trial win at Rosehill on August 7.
“He has come back really well. He is a good horse as we all know. The hype has gone off of him because he lost the rider one day and then he was down the track in the Golden Slipper when he drew the outside barrier,” Waller said.
“So back as a three year old he looks great. I love this horse’s action, he is such a laid back horse and I think that fools a few people thinking that he should be charging into the bridle like we like our horses trialling.”
“All he can do is do what he has done, he has won his trials.”
Waller is certain the Performer will appreciate running over longer distances deeper into his preparation but still expects him to run well first at his first appearance as a three year old.
“Is he an 1100m horse? Yes he did win the Breeders’ over a 1000m, he simply won it on class but I give him a chance to switch off and he will finish off well,” Waller said.
“If he doesn’t win he will be the one to follow out of the race for next start.”
Bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au have installed Performer as the $3.70 favourite for the San Domenico Stakes just ahead of the well supported Plague Stone at $4.40 and the Team Snowden trained Neutrality at $5.
The James Cummings trained Plague Stone has drawn barrier five with Glyn Schofield taking over from Hugh Bowman while Neutrality has drawn in close at three for Kerrin McEvoy.