Terry Robinson is pinning his faith in Art Cadeau’s fighting qualities when the country star takes on open class opposition in the Group 3 Festival Stakes.
Shoalhaven trainer Terry Robinson says Saturday is something of a fork in the road for his star galloper Art Cadeau, who tackles the Group 3 Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill.
Country NSW’s best performed horse will step out of country restricted grade for just the sixth time in his career when he tackles the feature race this weekend.
“He’s only been racing against country horses for much of his career,” Robinson said.
“The Kosciuszko was a good race but it was only a country trainer horses race.
“His benchmark now means he has to take on the open class horses and there’s no hiding anymore.
“There’s some really nice horses in that race on Saturday and it’s not like they are all at the end of their campaigns and off to the paddock after the weekend.
“Ellsberg coming off a Golden Eagle run and this is his fourth run of the prep, you’ve got Gem Song and Bandersnatch second-up, Order Again is resuming and he goes great fresh.
“Even a horse like Looks Like Elvis wasn’t far from Atishu in the Bill Ritchie and this is only his fourth run of the prep.
“Saturday will give us a better guide on where he’s at.”
After winning the $1.3m The Kosciuszko first-up from a spell, Robinson took the five-year-old son of Artie Schiller (USA) to Goulburn for the rich $200,000 country cup but things didn’t go to plan and he finished ninth of 12, the only time in his career out of the placings.
“His run did look only average in the Goulburn Cup but he did have had a few excuses,” Robinson said.
“He got a pretty nasty check near the 100 but he was in trouble at the time.
“He drew bad and had a lot of weight. I’d like to think he’s a better horse than he showed at Goulburn.
“In hindsight we may have gone into that Goulburn run a bit fresher than I’d have liked.
“We’ve had our track at Nowra closed for five weeks due to renovations and we’ve only had the beach.
“My brother’s been riding him and he said he didn’t do as much as he’d normally would do as the beach has been only average.
“He might have gotten away on me a bit.”
Art Cadeau’s regular jockey Tommy Berry returns to the saddle on Saturday and the five-year-old has drawn barrier 10 in the quality handicap.
The Rosehill track was rated a Heavy 8 on Thursday after 7mm fell on the surface in the preceding 24 hours up until 8am.
The Bureau of Meteorology is tipping more rain in the next 48 hours with anything between 45 and 70mm forecast for the Parramatta area.
“Saturday’s draw is slightly awkward but Tommy sticking gives you a bit of confidence,” Robinson said.
“The forecast is some concern. I would prefer to see a better track.
“He’s the sort of horse that tries on a heavy track and his record says he handles it but I remember back to a day early in his career when Jason Collett rode him and said he got through it but you wouldn’t say it was his best performance.
“I’m looking forward to Saturday because I think we can learn a couple of things that will help us in the future.
“He’ll give 100 per cent because he always does.”
TAB fixed odds rate Art Cadeau as a $9.50 chance for the Festival Stakes. The $2.90 favourite for the race is Ellsberg.
Originally published as Art Cadeau ready to leap out of country class in Festival Stakes