TRAINER Justine Erkelens of Muchea was pleased with Yeah Dardy’s performance at his last start but thinks the favourite Nerodio will be hard to beat in the HG Bolton Sprint (1200m) at Belmont Park tomorrow.
On July 10 Yeah Dardy, who had not raced in about three and a half months, finished fifth behind Nerodio in the Beaufine Stakes (1000m).
“It was a good run as he hadn’t even had a trial but I think Nerodio will be hard to beat as he’s on form,’’ she said.
For the Bolton the Stephanie Bakranich-trained Nerodio is weighted on 58.5kg while Yeah Dardy will carry 54.5kg but even that 4kg weight difference might not give Yeah Dardy an edge.
Five-year-old Nerodio has won nine races, including four at 1200m although the Playing God and Black Carat gelding’s most recent win at 1200m was in August last year.
Seven-year-old Yeah Dardy’s six wins include four 1000m races as well as one at 1200m and one at 1400m.
He won a 1200m trial at Belmont on February 5 before finishing second in the Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m) on February 13 where he was beaten by half a length by the Neville Parnham-trained Platoon.
Erkelens said Yeah Dardy would give his best and run a good race in what would be a different race without Mervyn out front.
The track was a heavy eight for the Beaufine so after a couple of drier days the track tomorrow should be firmer but Yeah Dardy has no problem with either.
“He’s versatile and can run on a heavy or fast track so we’re lucky.’’
Jockey Shaun O’Donnell convinced Erkelens to start Yeah Dardy in the Beaufine and he retains the ride.
“I don’t tell Shaun anything as he knows how to ride him but he’ll try to be one or two off the leaders (in the home straight).’’
Another big challenge is four-year-old Amasenus, who finished third in the Beaufine.
“She ran a really good race and is in good form too.’’
The Simon Miller-trained mare has had seven wins – five at 1000m and two at 1200m.
She has won six in a row including two at 1200m until her third in the Beaufine.