Consistent performer Sons Of John has returned to racing in great condition this year, and trainer Jason Attard has underlined a bold plan to set the five-year-old for an appearance in the featured Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on October 2nd.
Posting six wins and a further four minors through only fifteen career starts so far, Sons Of John has finished within the first three in each of his last five competitive appearances, and capped a standout autumn preparation with success over a talented field in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) on June 7th.
Pleased with the form and class displayed by the gelding in the lead-up to his Spring Carnival return, Attard told Racenet he is eyeing the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) on September 12th as the horse’s first competitive point of call; a race which offers its winner ballot-free entry into the Epsom Handicap.
“Obviously the winner of that race is exempt from the Epsom so that would be a great thrill but we’ll see how he goes,” Attard said.
“He did very well in the time that he had off and he went really nicely in his first trial.”
Attard is yet to train anything close to a Group 1 prospect, and is understandably thrilled to be offered his first legitimate chance this season in Sons Of John.
“I never worked under a trainer as a foreman or anything like that so I’ve been feeling my way a bit and learning as I go,” Attard said.
“I originally just started working at Reibycroft, breaking-in and pre-training the farm’s home-breds and then my boss gave me the idea of applying for a license and I did.
“I won a couple of races with them and then he gave me a few more and before I knew it I was getting outside horses.
“I’m very hands on, I ride most of them in work. I know every horse, every little nook and cranny so I want to try and keep it to a dozen or so horses.”
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