Trainer Grahame Begg is pleased to have All Silent’s riding engagement resolved but says the outcome has no bearing on the gelding’s Stradbroke Handicap chances.
Queensland stewards ruled on Monday that Craig Williams was required to honour a commitment to the Tony Noonan trained Ortensia with Hugh Bowman the new rider for All Silent.
“I would have been happy to have either one,” Begg said.
“All Silent loses nothing with Hugh aboard.”
“It’s just a shame it had to go as far as it did.”
Williams, who rode All Silent to third in the 2009 Doomben 10,000, announced last week he would stick with the five-year-old instead of Ortensia who had not yet made the Stradbroke field.
She cemented a start in the $1 million feature with victory in Saturday’s QTC Cup and Noonan approached stewards to rule on whether Williams should stay with her in the Stradbroke.
Noonan believed Williams had committed himself to Ortensia three months ago and was happy stewards ruled in his favour.
“In my opinion, he’s the best rider in Australia and she’s the best filly in Australia,” Noonan told Melbourne radio Sport 927 after the verdict.
All Silent, Ortensia and Doomben 10,000 runner-up Black Piranha were the $5 equal favourites with TAB Sportsbet on Monday ahead of Wednesday’s final declarations and barrier draw.
Although Bowman has not ridden All Silent in a race, he was aboard for an exhibition gallop at Randwick leading in to the 10,000.
“Hugh galloped him at Randwick a couple of weeks ago and has ridden him in a trial for me so he knows a but about the horse,” Begg said.
All Silent is scheduled to gallop at Eagle Farm on Tuesday.
“He galloped at Doomben on Saturday morning and will gallop on the course proper at Eagle Farm tomorrow,” Begg said.
“The biggest concern is probably the weather with the long range forecast for more showers.”
All Silent’s third in the 10,000 was his best performance so far on a heavy track although he did win his debut as a three-year-old on slow ground.
“His preferred ground is good ground but he gets through the wet okay,” Begg said.
“I think it was so heavy at Doomben that he was able to get a better grip.”
Begg is not so concerned about the barrier draw.
“He gets back anyway so it’s not as vital for him as some of the others,” he said.
Fellow Randwick trainer Anthony Cummings will decide later in the week whether Duporth will join Solo Flyer in the Stradbroke.
Duporth won the Group One 2009 BTC Cup on May 9 but floundered in wet when 11th of 16 in the Doomben 10,000.
“If it’s a similar track to Doomben, then we would have to have a serious think about whether he runs,” Cummings said.
Duporth is currently a $15 chance while Solo Flyer is at $21.
Article by Caryl Williamson Aapracing