Bobby Dee (outside) will contest the Schweppes Handicap (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.Trish Dunell
Connections of talented three-year-old stayer Bobby Dee are looking to Randwick on Saturday as plan B after the gelding was stranded on the ballot for both the Gr.1 Queensland Derby (2400m) and Gr.2 Brisbane Cup (2400m).
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained runner will take on older gallopers in Saturday’s Schweppes Handicap (2000m) for which he has drawn barrier two.
“He travelled down to Sydney last week and settled in well to Bjorn (Baker’s) stable and his plans will depend on how he goes on Saturday,” Forsman said.
“If he is competitive, then we would have to look at other options because there is good stake money to be won over there and I guess we will have to reassess and talk to the owners as to what they want to do.”
With a Group Two-placing in the Championship Stakes (2100m) at Ellerslie preceding a win over older rivals at Te Rapa, Bobby Dee looked to have the upward trajectory of a genuine Queensland Derby contender.
However, he was never a factor in the Gr.3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Eagle Farm, in which he finished eighth, and as a result he narrowly missed a Derby start.
“His run in the Grand Prix was pretty disappointing. He just sort of plugged away without doing much at all,” Forsman said.
“The rain-affected track on Saturday (heavy9) will certainly bring him into it and although the month between runs isn’t ideal, he does seem fit and he worked up to the mark on Tuesday by all accounts. So, all we can do is line him up and place him in a race that looks pretty suitable.
“I think 2000m on a heavy track at this point in his preparation is ideal. He is not the sort of horse that needs a lot of racing and often his best races have been on the fresh side, so he will certainly get his chance and he is well.”
James Innes Jnr will ride from barrier two and Forsman said he would not be surprised to see Bobby Dee ridden more positively than in the Grand Prix Stakes.
“He can race up on the pace and I think the way they ride Randwick these days when it is going to be wet, they all seem to skirt off the inside pretty quickly, but I think they over-play it a bit,” he said.
“If he is down on the inner and can cut the corner and angle out down the middle in the straight, I think that would be ideal.”
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