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Blinkered approach with Kiwi Coolmore hope

3 November 2017, 10:54 a.m.

Lance O’Sullivan concedes Summer Passage needs to lift at Flemington to give Saturday’s A$1 million Gr.1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) field a fright and he’s banking on a gear addition for that extra edge.

The Matamata horseman, who trains with Andrew Scott, said the three-year-old’s efforts in Melbourne have been satisfactory, but improvement is required.

                                            
Summer Passage photo: Trish Dunell Photography

 

“He’s in great order and I certainly can’t fault the way he looks in the coat and he’s very bright in the eye,” he said.

“If you look at his runs he hasn’t been far away, but he does need to find a length or two.”

Summer Passage opened his campaign when eighth in the Gr.2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) and then finished runner-up in the Gr.3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) and sixth in the Gr.3 Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m).

“He missed away a bit in the Blue Sapphire and Hugh Bowman then gave him a beautiful ride and he came in and said in his opinion we could very seriously look at adding blinkers so we’ve opted to do that this time,” O’Sullivan said.

“He’s done plenty of pace work and a bit of fast work in them so we’re hoping.

“They seem quite an even bunch of three-year-olds and there’s no real stand out this year, the fillies look a bit stronger if anything.”

O’Sullivan said Summer Passage is still developing and the best might be to come after Christmas.

“I would have liked to see him carrying a bit more condition, he’s fractionally light and he might bloom in the autumn. He has grown quite a bit in the last two or three months.”

Summer Passage will be ridden on Saturday by Blake Shinn, who guided the son of Snitzel to victory in last season’s Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie. – NZ Racing Desk.