Thomas Sadler trains first city winner

Trainer Thomas Sadler called on some beach training methods of a former Melbourne Cup winning trainer to extract the best out of Commando Drift at Sandown.

Commando Drift provided Sadler with his first metropolitan victory when taking out the Sportsbet Fast Form Handicap (2100m) on Wednesday.

Ridden by Rhys Mcleod, Commando Drift ($9) scored a short-half-head win over the $3.40 favourite Amphactor with Traduce ($17) a further 2-¾ lengths away third.

Sadler has 25 horses in work, of which eight are currently racing with the rest being ‘pre-trainers’.

He prepares his team on the outskirts of Geelong where he has access to the beach which he uses as one of the tools of his trade in getting his horses fit.

One of his ploys is to surge horses through the salt water, a tactic used by three-time Melbourne Cup winning trainer George Hanlon.

Commando Drift was having her third start for Sadler on Wednesday and the trainer said he had been disappointed with her first two performances.

“She had been quite disappointing at her first two starts, so we really just got at her work wise,” Sadler said.

“I looked a little bit outside the square. We did a lot of surging work with her down at the beach, which George Hanlon did a bit of, and I think it might be the same beach he might have used.

She loves it, but we’ve been quite hard on her, but she’s just copped it.

“I was looking at her in the yard thinking that she was a bit big still, but I knew that I’d done enough work with her.”

In a head-and-head struggle down the Sandown straight, Commando Drift got her head down on the line to land the prize.

“I’m a bit shocked,” Sadler said.

“Most of the time you are hoping what you think is going to happen, so it is rewarding to actually see it happen.”

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