After a spring of discontent, Anthony Cummings has started over with Baller and he is hoping the speedster can hit the ground running in the Listed Starlight Stakes at Rosehill.
Cummings had high hopes for Baller last campaign and while he posted a win in a benchmark race, his opportunities at black-type level were hindered by wide draws, leaving Cummings to lament what might have been.
“On the day he was ready to run his best race he got a bad barrier and paid the full penalty for it in the Theo Marks,” Cummings said.
“He bounced back off that but it was an opportunity that went begging simply for the sake of the barrier draw. What do you do?”
After a tough run, Baller finished last to Arcadia Queen in the Theo Marks and was spelled after a midfield effort behind Rainer at Rosehill in September.
He had a couple of weeks in the paddock to recalibrate and Cummings said the horse was bright and well ahead of his return in the Starlight Stakes (1100m) on Saturday.
Baller has another outside gate to contend with but the four-year-old needs to run with a view towards the Magic Millions Sprint at the Gold Coast in January.
“He is on a bit of a schedule heading towards the Magic Millions so he will take his place,” Cummings said.
“He has come back really well. He was pretty sharp in his trial and has the right sort of form for this race.”
A recent barrier trial winner, Baller was $10 with TAB fixed odds on Thursday with Kosciuszko victor Handle The Truth the $2.70 favourite for Keith Dryden.
The veteran Canberra trainer last won the race 17 years ago with Into The Night.
Bon Amis is second pick at $4.80 after resuming with a solid third in The Hunter at Newcastle, while Sandbar ($7.50) and Glenall ($9) are also at single figure odds.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au