Mark Wallis is convinced that Patchys Kerry can claim a second top level success by ending the curse of ante-post favourites in the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket.
Last year’s Champion Stakes heroine will begin her quest to become the first pre-competition market leader in the history of the 714 metre Category One contest to win it when the first round heats kick-off at Crayford on Saturday.
Fears expressed by the Lakenheath handler, who won the prize with Hometown Honey in 2014, over her ability to stay the trip were banished on Saturday with the daughter of Blackstone Gene posting a decisive nine-length success in a trial stakes at the Kent track, a performance which prompted race sponsors Ladbrokes to shorten her into 3-1 favourite.
“This losing record of ante-post favourites is there to be broken and I’d rather be favourite than not be favourite,” said Wallis.
“She obliterated a really good field on Saturday which proved she certainly gets the trip.
“Her time was very good and she wasn’t coming back to them.
“She has got the class element and is only 17 or 18 weeks out of season so, if anything she is likely to improve. If everything goes right I can’t see another dog getting near her.”
Should Patchys Kerry fail to deliver, the record equalling seven-times champion trainer is not short of back-up ammunition that could land him the £17,500 first prize.
Spearheading his supporting team is recent Prestige third Ferryforth Fran and former Peter Bussey Memorial Trophy winner Aayamzamodel.
“With Ferryforth Fran being quite a leggy dog I was not sure that the tight track would suit him but he trialled well around there.
“The 714 metre trip will be perfect for him.
“He is a strong running six-bend dog who has improved a lot since making the St Leger final,” said Wallis.
“Aayamzamodel has been kept in training with this in mind. She is a railer with great early pace and has a very good win strike rate around Crayford. She is only just coming to hand and she will improve for last Saturday’s run and is no back number, by any means.”
Completing Wallis’ entries will be Black Francis, who finished fourth in the event last year, TV Trophy finalist Ribble Atom and Parkers Poison.
“While Black Francis is getting a bit long in the tooth now, he runs the track well. He was one of the unsung heroes at the kennel last year and he would have each-way claims,” said Wallis.
“Ribble Atom is not quite back to her best yet and cramped up on Saturday in her trial stakes run, but she will come on a lot for that. She seemed to handle the track well.
“If we can get her through the first round she could be a dangerous outsider.”