Chris Waller hopes the reintroduction of blinkers can sharpen Tangled’s concentration so he can improve on a creditable third in the Group One Australian Derby.
Waller put winkers on the three-year-old colt last spring but the gear change did not have the desired effect so Waller is using another strategy ahead of the Group Three Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick.
“The winkers caused him to over-rac. He’s running his races in snatches and sort of stop-starting,” he said.
Sydney’s leading trainer used blinkers on Tangled for the first time during his 2017 autumn campaign which was highlighted by victory in the Group Two Champagne Classic at Doomben.
“We feel the horse needs them. If he focuses he could be winning these big races,” Waller said during his weekly stable update.
Tangled has still had a profitable campaign with placings in the Rosehill Guineas, in which he was runner-up to stablemate D’Argento, and Australian Derby behind Levendi and Ace High boosting his career earnings to $630,325.
To be ridden Michael Walker, Tangled was the $5 second elect with the TAB on Thursday behind the Mick Price-trained Holy Snow.
Waller was upbeat about Higher Ground ($7.50) negotiating the step up to Group company for the first time as he heads towards the Queensland Derby in June.
“He’s won three city races and he’ll stay. He’s already won over 1900 (metres),” Waller said.