Count De Rupee ready to rebound in the Hall Mark Stakes

The unprecedented run of wet weather has played havoc with Count De Rupee’s autumn campaign, but co-trainer Luke Price is optimistic the horse is ready to rebound in the Hall Mark Stakes at Randwick.

The four-year-old finished out of the placings in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington and again in the T J Smith Stakes at Randwick with a wash-out of the grass training tracks at Kembla Grange thwarting his build up to both races.

“We missed a jump out and a crucial grass gallop going down to Melbourne because of the wet weather and then he went down there a bit fresh and got lost up the straight,” Price said.

“It was the same going into the TJ. He missed a crucial grass gallop that he really likes, and he went from taking a little while to get over the trip to Mellbourne to probably going over the top and being too fresh in the TJ and he blew the start.”

Count De Rupee was given a crucial barrier trial at Warwick Farm on Monday and Price’s goal was two-fold.

He wanted to see Count De Rupee jump with the field and he wanted to balance the horse’s energy levels.

“We had to see him jump cleanly on Monday, which we saw,” Price said.

“He trialled lovely and came through it really nicely, so he is going there rock-hard fit on Saturday.

“It might have just taken that real fresh edge off him trialling him on Monday too.”

With Roheryn an early scratching, Count De Rupee will face seven rivals in Saturday’s Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) and he is on the second line of betting at $8.

Galaxy runner-up Big Parade has a stranglehold on early markets as a $1.85 favourite, although the race is considered an open affair outside the odds-on elect with Trumbull at $19 the outsider of the field.

Price said there were several options for Count De Rupee after Saturday including the Hawkesbury Cup or a winter carnival campaign in Queensland.

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