Day At The Track

Homeground a hot advantage

02:59 PM 11 Feb 2017 NZDT
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Shane Tritton.jpg
Shane Tritton

Outspoken trainer Shane Tritton thinks Sydney’s extreme heat and a hometrack advantage boost his chances of upsetting Lazarus with Salty Robyn in tonight’s $200,000 Group 1 Chariots Of Fire at Menangle. 

Sydney is in the midst of a scorching heatwave with yesterday Friday reaching 46 degrees celcius in outer suburban areas and similar, if not even hotter temperatures tipped for today (Saturday). 

Of course, the heatwave has already caused the postponement of Winx’s return to racing at Randwick today (Saturday) until tomorrow.

Adding to the issues at Menangle is the fact the Chariots Of Fire finalists have been required at the on-course retention barn since midday Thursday.

“It’s trying conditions for all the horses, but the retention barn isn’t that different to the normal Menangle horse stalls so those who’ve been in them before, like mine, will find it a bit easier and more familiar,” Tritton said. 

“I think that plays to the track in general here. 

“We’ve been racing here long enough now to know most horses keep getting better and more accustomed to it the more times they race at Menangle. 

“The fact the race is here is a definite plus for Salty Robyn. He’s had so much experience here, he knows every part of the track. 

“Some horses, especially racing here for the first time, can struggle a bit between the 600 and 400m. 

“I know the more often mine have raced here, the better they get used to that part of the track.” 

Amazingly, Salty Robyn, who goes into the race with 10 wins on end, won his C0 (open-aged maiden race) on the same day Lazarus smashed his NZ Cup rivals by 10 lengths. 

Asked whether Tritton genuinely believes he can beat Lazarus, he said: “I’d like to think so, but it’s hard to be confident. What I am confident is that we can give him a real race. 

“We can’t let him get a  break on us and we won’t. If we get the chance to make a move towards the leaders before he does, we will. 

“If Lazarus goes before us, we will go with him.

“We just want to stay with him as long as we can and hope we can put out head in front on the line.”   

Tritton’s other runner, Anything For Love, looks set to burn out of gate nine and challenge, and probably take the lead from Arma The Gun. 

It should ensure a blazing first 400m and Lazarus and Salty Robyn are likely to stay out of then, then get going with their runs.  

If Anything For Love finds the lead as most expect, Tritton is clear on the tactics as he tweeted them yesterday.   

“Owners of Anything For Love have confirmed they will not be looking for cover in the Chariots … horse hasn’t got the maturity to settle and burning out and would rather let him roll than spend the entire back straight trying to stop him,” he tweeted, 

As great as Lazarus is, it is worth noting even another of Purdon’s greats – Adore Me – was beaten at her first Menangle run. 

Since then, Purdon has given all of his biggest stars lead-up runs at Menangle before going into major races. 

Circumstances have not allowed that with Lazarus being set for and winning the Victoria Cup. 

At least one Aussie punter isn’t fazed by that. A $20,000 bet was taken on Lazarus at $1.40 last night for him to win the Chariots. 

Lazarus has firmed from $1.45 to $1.35 on the Aussie TAB since Monday’s barrier draw, while Salty Robyn has eased from $4.80 to $6.

The other Purdon/Rasmussen runners are: Our Waikiki Beach (gate seven) who has eased from $18 to $21 and Lets Chase The Dream (gate nine). His out from $21 to $26. 

Adam Hamilton

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