Sir Charles Road is in danger of missing out on a start in the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) next month, a race he finished seventh in last year.
The Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained six-year-old has pleased his connections with his spring campaign to date, placing in two of his three starts in Sydney including the Gr.1 Metropolitan (2400) and St Leger Stakes (2600m), but he remains 43 rd in the order of entry for the Melbourne Cup.
O’Sullivan was particularly pleased with Sir Charles Road’s performance in the St Leger on Saturday and said the competition over in Australia is fierce.
“Sir Charles Road keeps improving a little bit, but there is pretty stiff competition across the Tasman,” he said.
“He is certainly flying the Kiwi flag well and truly with his performances. I think if he had a bit more luck on the weekend he could have possibly finished second.”
O’Sullivan said the son of Myboycharlie compares favourably to last year and he is more pleased with his spring preparation this term.
“I would say he is going as good, if not better, than last year. I think he has had a better preparation this time in. He had a bit of a checkered run last year, he had one or two things not go his way.
“He spiked a temperature at one stage, so he was always half a run behind.
“But the owner, David Archer, decided to get the horse over there (Sydney) nice and early and give him an Australian preparation.
“I think that has paid dividends if you look at how well the horse looks and how well he is performing.
“It was certainly the right decision to make and we are not chasing our tail, where we were 12 months ago.”
While pleased with the way his charge is performing, O’Sullivan said his team will have one last throw at the stumps with Sir Charles Road in order to make the Cup field.
“This year there is probably not going to be as many defections as what there was 12 months ago.
“He’s going to travel down to Melbourne on Tuesday or Wednesday and then he will have a crack in the Lexus (Gr.3, 2500m).
“That is the last roll of the dice to qualify, with the first horse home getting a berth in the big one.
“That’s the path we are going down. I know it is a quick back-up if you win, but it’s like having a ticket in Lotto.
“We are certainly not giving up hope of trying to make the field once again this year.” – NZ Racing Desk