Trainer Jason Attard is thrilled with the condition of stable star Sons Of John in the lead-up to Saturday’s featured Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick.
Sons Of John has been a strong and consistent performer for Attard throughout his entire racing career so far, and will line up for the Epsom Handicap 2016 with a positive record of seven wins and six minors through twenty-three starts.
Having run third behind champion mare Winx in last year’s edition of the feature race, Sons Of John is treated far better under the conditions of the race this year and Attard is confident that the horse has only taken benefit from his last start win in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m).
“Last year was a bit of a culture shock,” Attard told AAP.
“It was quite a big thing to have a Group One runner let alone to have a chance in the race.
“We’re better off at the weights and just the fact that Winx isn’t in there has got to be a big bonus.
“The Bill Ritchie was great for his confidence and ours just to see him come through and win like that.
“He only went to the Theo Marks last year and straight to the Epsom.
“We put an extra few miles under his belt and have put him into the race a little bit more advanced than he was last time.”
Attard is thrilled to have a live chance in the 2016 Epsom Handicap for owner John Kelly, who has been a strong supporter of his Hawkesbury stable throughout recent seasons.
“He’s chuffed,” Attard said.
“I don’t think they’ve really had this type of success before.”
Sons Of John undoubtedly returned to racing in top condition through 2015, and capped a consistent autumn campaign with a maiden black type win in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m).
Given little chance of success in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) first-up in spring, the Oratorio gelding produced a big turn of foot to finish a close second to Winx, in what was his only campaign start prior to the Epsom Handicap.
Clearly requiring a run when sixth in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) first-up on September 3rd, Sons Of John’s last start win cemented the horse’s legitimate claims on Saturday’s feature.
Open an account and bet with Ladbrokes.com.au to take advantage of the best 2016 Epsom Handicap odds!