Trainer Brad Widdup, who is adopting a “business as usual” mantra, is banking on Switched’s exponential rate of improvement continuing when she lines up in the Winter Racing Handicap (1000m) at Royal Randwick.
Widdup revealed Switched was taking a while to learn her craft before making an impressive race debut when she romped home an easy winner from stablemate Night Flyer at Kembla Grange last month.
“I’m very positive about Switched, she has come through her win very well,’’ Widdup said. “She appears to be in good order for this race. I did try to get her up for the Inglis Millennium earlier in the season but she just wasn’t ready.
“Even this time through, after her first trial I was wondering whether to keep going with her as I like her as a filly and I didn’t want to push her. But I persevered with her second trial, which she won, and she has jumped out of the ground since.’’
Widdup conceded he is unsure how Switched will handle a soft track and the rise in grade from a provincial maiden to Sydney Saturday class.
“The two-year-old racing is very, very competitive,’’ Widdup said. “If you are getting a two-year-old winner then you are doing well as it is no walk in the park this season.
“I have no real idea how Switched will handle a soft track but she has drawn the right barrier and it is the first race of the day so the track won’t be chopped up.’’
Night Flyer, like he stablemate Switched, is also by emerging stallion All Too Hard, and will have her second start in the Kensington Handicap (1100m) at Randwick’s Kensington track at the holiday Monday meeting.
Widdup did have Night Flyer entered for Canterbury midweek but decided to scratch due to an awkward barrier.
“I thought Night Flyer would be in front of Switched in the run,’’ Widdup said. “But when they jumped I thought where is she but she didn’t jump that well.
“She’s not a big filly but ran on nicely. I’m leaning to running her at the ‘Kenso’ but there is also a maiden at Gosford and a 1000m two-year-old at Kembla later next week so we have options.’’