Ryan cautious ahead of return
By Jonny Turner
Gore trotter Picketts Ridge’s physical condition, rather than any under foot conditions, look to be the biggest challenge for the talented trotter ahead of his return on his home track today.
The 6yr-old will resume his stop-start and injury plagued career, after having his last start in October, in the meeting’s feature trot.
Picketts Ridge won first up at Winton after overcoming one of the his many injury battles to start his last campaign.
Ryan has got on top of a his trotter’s most recent trouble with his problem hind leg with circulation therapy, which has helped the 6yr-old get back to full soundness.
The timing of the trotter’s return is the factor the trainer is most weary about going in to today’s feature.
Picketts Ridges has made the most of the spring and summer and is carrying a little more condition than he normally would at this time of year.
“He is pretty fat, he is a carrying a few more kilos than he should be,” Ryan said.
“He had been getting an easy time of it on the spring and summer grass, so he might need a run or two to get race fit.”
Picketts Ridge has finished second in what Ryan described as “quiet workouts” ahead of his return.
Picketts Ridge, who starts from a 45m handicap, clearly gives away a race fitness edge to his main rivals.
Humble Ladd (25m) looks the horse to beat on his last start third behind Cuchulainn and Dark Horse.
The 5yr-old is one of quartet of runners in the event for Oamaru trainer Phil Williamson that includes Lisa Marie P (15m), Riteur (25m) and Monty Python (55m).
The move from grass racing to Gore’s all weather surface is against veteran pacer Tartan Trilogy.
Though, trainer Chelsea Faithful is still hopeful her 10yr-old can continue his excellent spring and summer form in today’s feature 2700m handicap pace.
Tartan Trilogy will be out to complete a remarkable past month and go from pin up boy to cup winner at Gore on Saturday.
The 10yr-old has almost undoubtedly had the most interesting and varied preparation of the field that was to contest today’s race.
Tartan Trilogy comes in as a pin-up pacer of sorts, after he and his trainer combined to win a Best Presented Horse and Handler title at the recent Winton A&P show.
The veteran starts from the sometimes tricky barrier 1 on the front line in just his sixth standing start of his 66-start career.
Faithful is hopeful that position will not cause too many problems for her veteran.
“I think he will be ok,” Faithful said.
“He drew one in the Tin Shed Cup at Balfour and began really well and led, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.”
Both Picketts Ridge and Tartan Trilogy will be driven by Nathan Williamson.