Pearcedale trainer Jason Thompson will embark on a 630-kilometre round trip seeking a treble at Warrnambool tonight.
Thompson has Taken, Zambora Smokey and Razor Sharp engaged, and the triumvirate is rated highly by expert form analyst The Watchdog.
Here’s how Thompson assesses his runners’ chances:
Taken, Race 6 Box 5, 6.54pm
“He’s probably better suited over more ground… But he’ll appreciate this restricted (3-6 Wins) event… And box five won’t worry him as he tracks towards the middle.”
The Watchdog says: Is racing with confidence and he will turn up the heat mid-race.
Zambora Smokey, Race 7 Box 3, 7.16pm
“He’s run some very quick times… Potentially, he’s a high-class country cups type… But he can be hit-and-miss out of the boxes and is still learning what racing is all about.”
The Watchdog says: Obliterated the clock at Sale last time and with a clear run early he can bust the 25 seconds barrier.
Razor Sharp, Race 8 Box 1, 7.31pm
“He’s very well drawn, I wouldn’t swap the box for anything… And I couldn’t be happier with him, he’s won seven of his past 10 races.”
The Watchdog says: Should be able to pounce on the early lead and he can really carve out time when on the arm.
Pawnote: Thompson also has six-time Group 1 finalist Black Opium (Race 8 Box 1, 8.46pm) engaged at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Black Opium has won 22 races from 42 starts (52% winning strike rate), including four from eight at The Meadows.
She’s won her past two starts – The Meadows (29.64sec) and Sale (29.01sec).
“She was beaten by a good dog first-up, but her last two runs have been sensational,” Thompson said. “She broke Sale’s first split record, clocking 9.13 seconds, and was less than a length off the 520-metre track record. She’s back to her best and full of confidence.”
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