Wide draw in The Quokka doesn’t deter trainer

Group 1 winner Uncommon James has come a long way in a short period of time and will be racing for the biggest prize of his career in Perth.

The Steven O’Dea and Matthew Hoysted-trained sprinter is set to contest Western Australia’s first ‘slot’ race, akin to The Everest in Sydney, the $4 million The Quokka (1200m) at Ascot on Saturday.

Following a redraw on Tuesday following a mix-up, Uncommon James has come up with barrier 13 in the 14-horse field with only the favourite, Amelia’s Jewel drawn outside him.

Hoysted is unfazed by the draw and pointed out Uncommon James won the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Sandown in February from the same gate.

“At the end of the day it probably doesn’t matter. All it means there are more chances for things to go wrong,” Hoysted told RSN927.

“We would have liked to have drawn a softer gate, but we won the Oakleigh Plate from barrier 13.

“He’s a horse that likes a little bit of room and that was probably his downfall in The Galaxy.

“He didn’t get all that much room at the right time and when he had to take a tight gap, he showed his inexperience and was a touch hesitant, so from 13, I would say we’ll get plenty of room from there which should help.”

Following his win in the Oakleigh Plate, Uncommon James travelled to Sydney where he finished second to Mariama in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 18.

In his past two starts, Uncommon James has been up on the speed and Hoysted said that was likely to be the scenario again on Saturday.

“On paper there doesn’t look that much speed and if he can jump as well as he did in the Oakleigh Plate then we can get across easily enough if he was to muster,” Hoysted said.

“It’s a beautiful run there at Ascot. It’s a 600-metre run to the bend, so hopefully they’ll have plenty of time to find their positions.”

Hoysted said Uncommon James had settled in well in Perth and has had two gallops on the Ascot track to prepare him for Saturday.

But he said how much the travel, from Brisbane to Melbourne to Sydney and then to Perth, combined with the racing, has taken on the gelding is hard to gauge.

“We are getting a little deeper into the campaign now, but he is showing no signs that he’s coming to the end of it at all, but we won’t know that until we ask for the effort on Saturday,” Hoysted said.

“He’s had two looks around the course proper at Ascot and we’re happy with him going into Saturday.”

About RS NewsWire

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