Jeremy Gask harbours sentimental feelings and a positive attitude about his recently acquired staying import Lord Fandango, who tackles the Colin Stephen Quality at Rosehill.
The renewed connection between horse and trainer appears to have reignited an interest in racing for the eight-year-old, who has been winless since claiming the 2017 Herbert Power Stakes.
The German-bred stayer, who comes from the same family as 2017 Cox Plate winner Adelaide, was initially prepared in England by Gask before the trainer relocated to South Australia.
Also the conditioner of globetrotting sprinter Medicean Man, who won in Dubai and competed in six renditions of the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, Gask now heads a boutique training operation at Scone.
“He’s been a nice horse, a sentimental horse in many ways.” Gask said of Lord Fandango.
After a brace of wins over 2400m in 2016, Lord Fandango was brought to Australia by OTI Racing in partnership with the British-based Anglo Australian Racing and was trained at Ballarat by Englishman Archie Alexander.
But following a long run of below par performances, he was sent to master trainer Lindsey Smith in Western Australia where his poor form continued, prompting an internal buyout and the horse being transferred to Gask.
“The original owners from the UK have stuck with him and we’ll see if we can get him back into some form,” Gask said.
The initial signs weren’t good when Lord Fandango finished down the track in the Coffs Harbour Cup in early August but that was followed by an encouraging midfield finish in the Taree Cup.
Lord Fandango then stepped up to his pet distance of 2400m at Rosehill and despite a poor start and unsuitable tempo, he again finished off strongly under 60.5kg.
“I think there is some light there. After the carnival is over he’ll be suited to the handicapping races but I don’t think there’s necessarily a huge amount of depth in that race tomorrow,” Gask said.
“He stays all day and I’d like to see him run a nice race.”
Lord Fandango drops to 53kg for the Colin Stephen Quality and lightweight hoop Jeff Penza has been engaged.