OAKBANK’S downhill run has brought many good horses undone but trainer Russell Bell thinks it could work in the favour of his top-flight sprinter Sirbible.
The freewheeling Sirbible is the clear-cut $3.50 favourite for Saturday’s $100,000 UBET Oakbank Stakes (1100m) on the back of some bold displays against quality opposition in recent starts.
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The five-year-old gelding ran third behind Group 1 performers Malaguerra and Black Heart Bart in the $200,000 Australian Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley before being narrowly beaten on the same track over 955m on March 24 when given no peace in the lead.
“If you look at his last run, if one of them didn’t take him on and finish last, and the fact he had 61kg, he’d probably win the race pretty easily,” Bell said. “He’ll be there for a long way.
“If they choose to take us on, I know where they’ll end up and I know what he’s going to do. He’s probably in the best condition I’ve ever had him.”
Bell trains his team from Colac in country Victoria and believes the fact that track has some similarities to Oakbank could prove significant.
“He’ll love the hill,” the trainer said. “Out of all the tracks in Victoria, Colac’s probably got the steepest hill from the 800m to the corner … and he thrives there. That’s part of the reason we’ve brought him across.
“He had a track gallop between races there at the last meeting there before he went to a Group 2 and his sectionals were as good as you’ll see any horse ever run.”
Bell said Sirbible’s frontrunning styles should be well-suited to Oakbank, starting from barrier five with apprentice Brandon Stockdale in the saddle. “Obviously we’re coming to their backyard on Saturday, so we’ll see what happens,” he said. “But he’s the kind of horse that gives you optimism because of the way he races and how tough he is.
“He’s been a great horse and he hasn’t finished yet. He’s a horse that makes his own luck. he hasn’t had 58kg on his back for a while, either.
“I think you’ll see a lot more of Brandon over the next six months, too. He’ll come into his own. He’s a very good rider.”
ADVERTISER racing experts Lincoln Moore and Ben Scadden preview Saturday’s Oakbank races.
BEST OF BEST
JUST A BIGGER DASH (Race 2, No. 5)
He’s always had talent and has returned in good form this preparation, beaten less than a length at both runs from a spell. He ran a very strong race against quality opposition last time and should be prominent for a long way in this.
TUSCAN SLING (Race 8, No. 3)
Quality mare who comes to Adelaide with the one run under belt this time in. Raced in some big races last campaign, finishing runner-up behind Azkadellia in the Mannerism and fifth behind Precious Gem in the Sangster at Morphettville last May. Sure to give this a big shake if she handles the run down the hill.
CHAMOIS ROAD (Race 1, No. 3)
Hard to not be impressed by his victory at Morphettville last month when he cruised clear to win by more than two lengths. Drawn perfectly here and expect him to dominate the small field.
POSH JOURNEY (Race 2)
She’s finally drawn a decent barrier and is back to a suitable distance. She gets in nicely with the claim and I expect her to go well.
ENKI (Race 2)
He had no luck last start. The 1400m suits him better, too. He’s a chance.
TWO ODD SOX (Race 2)
He was climbing over the top of them last time. I think he might just be coming to the end of his prep, though.
ROSELLI STING (Race 4)
I was slightly disappointed with his last run. This looks a bit easier and I expect him to run well.
I AM GYPSY (Race 8)
It’s a bad barrier and there are some quick ones inside her. She’ll be up there somewhere around the mark.
TARCO (Race 8, No. 4)
David Jolly has a great record in this race and this bloke went within a lip of winning it last year. I reckon he’s a terrific chance of going one better this time.
First leg — 2, 3, 6
Second leg — 1, 2, 3, 10
Third leg — 1, 3, 4
Fourth leg — 1, 4, 5
Originally published as Sirbible set to sizzle on downhill run
SOURCE: newsnow sport