Trainer David Payne is adamant Bazooka will retire with many more wins against his name than his record currently shows and is confident he has made the right call by lining up at Hawkesbury on Thursday.
The four-year-old has won once in 21 starts. That win was at his third race start. He is a dual group 3 placegetter so clearly has the ability but has strung together a frustrating run of four placings on end this time in.
After considering another benchmark 72 at Kensington, Payne elected to drop him into a class 1 in the TAB Handicap (1800m) where he will carry 61.5kg.
“It’s been unbelievable; he’s been unlucky. He goes back, and you’re always going to get that,” Payne said. “I think he’s going to retire a multiple winner, don’t worry. He was a late foal and we haven’t seen the best of him yet.”
Bazooka was runner-up in the group 3 Up And Coming Stakes and Ming Dynasty as a three-year-old.
He has been a sectional star in many of his recent placings.
He posted a last 600m of 34.02 seconds (Punter’s Intelligence) in his last start third behind Gemmahra in a Midway at Randwick on August 7. His last 200m of 11.49s was two lengths faster than any other runner.
Payne said the gelding’s talent was there for everyone to see and, while he has top weight and the outside in an eight-horse field, they won’t be excuses.
“The other day the draw was against him and I think he dropped the bit early … it was a very good run,” Payne said.
“There’s only eight runners so he’s not going to be that far back. It’s a long straight and he’s got a good turn of foot, as you can see by his sectionals.”