Fitter Fituese to rebound at Randwick

A missed barrier trial proved to be more crucial than John Thompson had hoped but he is confident he has smart mare Fituese ready to atone in the Listed Bob Charley AO Stakes at Randwick on Saturday. 

Thompson had wanted to give Fituese two trials leading into her first-up run in the Ortensia Stakes last month but with the clock ticking, had to make do with one and bank on a quiet ride to negate her imperfect build up. 

But his hopes went out the window when Fituese over-raced and was forced to cover extra ground from her outside draw, puncturing over the final stages to finish a tiring fifth to Albumin. 

“I ran out of time to give her a second trial, so she went into it [Ortensia Stakes] off one trial,” Thompson said. 

“I did want her ridden a bit quieter, but she just raced a bit fresh, three-deep outside the leaders, and she just got tired basically. 

“So I didn’t run her again, I trialled her. We rode her a bit quieter and she trialled super. 

“She will be ridden a bit quieter on Saturday and I reckon you’ll see a different horse.” 

Fituese is to be partnered by Brenton Avdulla on Saturday, picture

Rachel King has ridden Fituese in nine of her 12 starts and is the only jockey to have won on her. However, with King in Brisbane on Saturday for the Stradbroke Handicap meeting, Brenton Avdulla will partner the mare for the first time. 

“It will be interesting to see how she goes for Brenton. He’s her new rider because Rachel is in Queensland,” Thompson said. 

“She just needs a bit of luck from the draw on Saturday. She is going super.” 

Fituese is on the second line of TAB fixed odds markets at $5, behind equal $4.60 favourites Wandabaa for Kris Lees and the Joe Pride-trained Ballistic Lover. 

The field for the Bob Charley (1100m) has been reduced to 12 with the scratchings of wet track duffer Villami and Southern Lad, along with the two emergencies.