Much like his AFL namesake, Geelong great Gary Ablett Jr, The Meadows track specialist Reiko Ablett is enjoying a stunning late career resurgence that is poised to continue on Saturday night.
The veteran of 59 starts, Reiko Ablett, which is owned and bred by Victorian jockey Jarrod Fry, is enjoying a purple patch of form, winning three of his last four starts, all at The Meadows, including a scorching personal best of 29.87s last month.
It’s a hot streak that has even caught Reiko Ablett’s trainers by surprise.
“It’s only taken him three years!” laughed co-trainer Tom Dailly.
“The last month or so he’s been going great but you’d have to ask him why. I haven’t got a clue.
“To be honest, I’ve thought about sacking him four or five times but I just haven’t got around to it. He’s kept earning prizemoney here and there and all of a sudden he’s chasing like a demon.
“He’s in free-for-all now but there’s probably a shortage of good dogs going around at the moment. In saying that, he’s running better times than he ever has.”
While Team Dailly is based at Anakie, The Meadows can be considered Reiko Ablett’s home track, as he’s had 46 starts and claimed 13 of his 16 career victories at the venue, ten of those wins coming over Saturday night’s 525m course.
“He absolutely loves the joint,” Dailly said.
“We’ve tried switching him around to other tracks so he doesn’t get bored. But he never seems to get sick of The Meadows and if you take him anywhere else he goes terrible.
“He hasn’t got any pace so box eight probably isn’t going to help but he keeps putting himself in the race and if he’s anywhere near them he’ll be hard to beat.
“The way he’s going you definitely couldn’t discard him.”
Reiko Ablett will line up in race 6, the TAB AFL Half Time Special to jump at 8.58pm, with TAB’s Thank God promotion having a distinct Geelong flavour to it.
Punters can get $8 about Gary Ablett kicking one or more goals in the first half of Geelong’s clash with Port Adelaide on Saturday night into Reiko Ablett continuing his love affair with The Meadows.
The main dangers to Reiko Ablett appear to be rails runner Sustain The Rage, a fast 29.32s last start winner off the red at Sandown Park, and the classy Lagoon Rhett, which ended a run of outs at The Meadows last Saturday, clocking a slick 29.86s.