Co-trainer Troy Corstens believes that Runson has enough early speed to overcome the outside barrier in the 2018 Group 1 $1m Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in Perth on Saturday.
Melbourne jockey Stephen Baster will ride Runson again after being aboard the six year old at his last four starts which includes a win at Cranbourne over 1000m after racing on the pace followed by an all the way win in a 1200m Handicap at The Valley two starts back.
Baster then had Runson travelling in the first three down the Flemington straight and the gelding fought hard to the line to fill third spot behind Osborne Bulls and Bons Away in the Group 2 $300,000 Linlithgow Stakes (1200m) on Derby Day on November 3.
Corstens is not worried about the outside gate and can see Baster letting Runson use his good gate speed and stride across the front of the field in the run to the first turn.
“If there’s one horse who barrier 15 would suit at Ascot it’s him,” Troy Corstens told the Herald Sun.
“He’s got 700m to work across on a cambered turn — Steve (Baster) will be able to work across as he feels and he won’t be pressured or hustled.”
“Steve will also be in a situation where he can make up his mind and take his time without having to commit.”
“He’s relaxed here and I’m really happy with his work.”
Runson is currently marked at $12 for the Winterbottom Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au who have last year’s winner Viddora marked as the $2.70 favourite to score back to back wins in the Ascot Racing Carnival’s feature weight for age sprint.
Corstens, who trains in partnership with his father Leon at Flemington, agrees with the bookies that Viddora is the one to beat.
“Viddora is going to be hard to beat but I’m happy to give him his chance at this level,” Corstens said.
“If it doesn’t work we can always come back a level.”
The Lloyd Kennewell trained Viddora has drawn beautifully at barrier five in the fifteen horse Winterbottom Stakes field with regular rider Joe Bowditch in the saddle again.
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