Thomas Hoping Asudem Makes Timely Kosciuszko Statement

By Ray Hickson

Sometimes the best things happen by just being in the right place at the right time and that’s where trainer Luke Thomas is hoping Asudem will be at Canterbury on Wednesday.

The Cessnock trainer is keen for his consistent five-year-old to make a timely statement that he’s a contender for The Kosciuszko by winning the Frosted @ Darley Handicap (1100m) just a few hours after the 14 lucky Kosciuszko slot owners are drawn.

It’s cutting things fine when it comes to impressing the people who can determine whether or not a horse runs in the $1.3m race on Everest Day but it could work in his favour if he gets the right result.

“I can’t have him any better first-up so we’ll have a throw at the stumps,’’ Thomas said.

“There will still be improvement in him, if he could win or be an unlucky second I know he will be even better next start.

“My only concern is the tighter track, if it was at Randwick or Warwick Farm I’d probably be more confident.”

Thomas had planned to run Asudem at Randwick last Saturday, in the race won by Cristal Breeze, but is content enough coming back that notch for a first-up run.

It gave him the time to give the gelding another solid gallop and his regular jockey Aaron Bullock is able to ride.

“It’s a blessing to have Aaron going down to ride him, he knows the horse well, and he’s really good mates with me and a couple of the owners,’’ he said.

“The timing was right, two weeks after his last trial, I think I have him as good as I can first-up.”

Asudem, a winner of five of his 18 starts, hasn’t raced since winning narrowly over 1350m at Wyong on March 10.

Thomas said the tight track doesn’t suit his horse and he only ran there as a stepping stone to the Country Championships Wild Card, a race he eventually had to scratch the horse from.

He’s leaving the steering job to Bullock, suggesting Asudem is capable of parking in the first half of the field or a bit closer if circumstances allow but it’s important that the horse is given the chance to be strong late.

“He jumped really well in his trial but I don’t think he will be in the first couple,’’ he said.

“Last prep he went from a horse that was out the back and hitting the line big time to racing third or fourth.

“I’ll leave all that up to Aaron. When I went through the sectionals I think he has among the best finishing sectionals of all those horses.

“If he’s close enough and comfortable and gets around that track he will be getting home very hard.”