Sambro blindfolded to help barrier issues

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April 26, 2018 - 05:48 PM

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Sambro will be led into his gate blindfolded before the Group Three Hawkesbury Guineas in the latest attempt to address his fractious pre-race behaviour.

The Chris Waller-trained three-year-old has been fitted with a barrier blanket since February but still received a warning from Racing NSW stewards at Warwick Farm last month.

Although he reared in the gates before a 1400m-race on March 28, he was passed fit to race and ultimately finished runner-up to Dissolution.

Sambro had no issues at his most recent start in the Group Three Carbine Club Stakes at Randwick on April 7, but Waller's racing manager Charlie Duckworth said the barrier blindfold was necessary despite a smooth trial at Warwick Farm last Friday.

"It was good to see him behave well in the barriers for his trial because it's actually cost him a couple of races throughout his career," Duckworth said on the stable's weekly update.

Sambro, who was gelded before this preparation, is seeking his second career win in his 15th start.

Despite a record that includes another barrier-related warning, Sambro was the $5 second elect with the TAB on Thursday behind Country Championships winner Victorem ($2.90).

Sambro was also entered in the $125,000 Group Gunsynd Classic (1630m) at Doomben on Saturday, but Waller opted to run him closer to home despite barrier 11 of 14.

"The barrier is slightly awkward but it's a Group Three worth $200,000 so it's silly not to leave him here and give him every chance," Duckworth said.

Waller is also looking for improvement from Scream Park ($19) in the same race after a disappointing run in the Karaka Million 3YO Classic in January.

"He'll really appreciate a strong, aggressive rider like Rory (Hutchings). I think he'll have a bit of a wake-up call on Saturday," Duckworth said.

So You Win rounds out Waller's three-pronged attack on the race.