Today I’m riding at Bendigo. The rail is out 5 metres and the track is rated in the soft range.

Race 3 is the Bendigo Skin Clinic Maiden Plate over 1600 metres. My ride here is EL CAMPEON (FR) who is trained by Danny O’Brien. This four-year-old imported entire by Teofilo is bred to Northern hemisphere time. I rode him for the first time when he made his debut at Sale at the end of July over 1400 metres. He looked to be a horse that was still a work in progress and learning when I watched replays of his jumpouts prior to his first start, but on raceday he showed good gate speed and put himself into a forward position. He was inconvenienced in the home straight and was quite unlucky in running and did a good job to finish less than two lengths from the winner in third placing. He was very colty in the yard pre-race and went to the start early and I felt that he struggled with the raceday conditions from that perspective. I expect he will have taken good benefit from his first day at the races and I’m looking forward to seeing how he parades second-up. I have ridden him in a recent jumpout at Flemington where he showed good speed again but he still isn’t the finished product yet with his racing manners. If he does things correctly today I know he has the ability to win this.

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