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Bendigo return to spark Observational

John Sadler is hopeful a return to the spaciousness of Bendigo will spark a return to some type of form for imported galloper Observational.

The former Lloyd and Nick Williams-owned galloper will be lining up for his fourth start for Sadler in the Golden Mile (1600m) on Saturday.

Observational won his Australian debut in the corresponding race in 2015, but in 11 subsequent starts has filled a place only once.

Observational won the Golden Mile first-up for his previous connections, but the gelding will be second-up on Saturday coming off a seventh in the Cranbourne Cup (1600m) on March 3.

Sadler took over training Observational following his fifth in the JRA Cup last September and after running him at Flemington and Ballarat in November, he sent the six-year-old for a break.

When he first came to Sadler the trainer thought he would be a miler but is now not convinced and has set his sights on the Warrnambool Cup in May.

“First-up in the Cranbourne Cup he couldn’t tack on at a mile,” Sadler said.

“It’s disappointing when they can’t tack on and it’s not like he’s a Grand Annual runner.

“It was suggested to me when we bought him that he was maybe only a miler but the other day going by that run he wants further.

“He’s not a big strong horse that takes a lot of racing so I thought he could have two mile runs, go to the Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield and then Warrnambool.

“Hopefully going back to Bendigo sparks something in him and he did run well in the Easter Cup last year.”

Observational finished third behind Leebaz and Guardini in last year’s Easter Cup.

Sadler has schooled Observational over hurdles in a bid to reinvigorate the gelding while blinkers will be added to his gear on Saturday.

Saturday’s Golden Mile has attracted 28 nominations, headed by the Darren Weir-trained Burning Front who will be chasing a sixth straight win and his 17th from 47 career starts.

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