Racing: Wide draw no hindrance

Photo / APN
Photo / APN

A wide barrier draw could work in favour of Queensland sprinter River Lad if the Ramornie Handicap tempo turns out as trainer Natalie McCall expects.

River Lad, who was kept away from the main fare of the Brisbane winter carnival before returning to win the Healy Stakes, has drawn gate 10 in listed sprint at Grafton tomorrow.

"It's not ideal but it's not the end of the world," McCall said.

"In the Ramornie, there is usually plenty of speed on and he's a free-rolling horse anyway.

"It might not be too much of a disadvantage."

McCall, who worked for her father, Ray, as well as John Hawkes when the leading trainer operated a Brisbane stable for the Ingham family, is chasing back-to-back stakes success with River Lad.

The 4-year-old gave her a black type breakthrough after five years of training with his group three Healy Stakes win at Eagle Farm last month.

"This year we didn't think he was up to the real high grade of sprinter," McCall said.

"We always planned for him to race at the back end of the winter carnival and see what we could pick off. What he is doing now is giving him confidence and, hopefully, it's a good foundation for next year."

- AAP

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