Cosmologist’s win in the Central Districts Country Championship qualifier on the heaviest of heavy 10s at Mudgee last month was a wet track fluke.
It’s the belief that’s sweeping the region.
But trainer Dean Mirfin’s not buying that sentiment - not one iota.
In fact, he’s confident his champion four-year-old will prove the doubters wrong when Cosmologist runs at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
Mirfin is giving his gelding a run prior to the April 7 championship final at Royal Randwick, with the Bowerman’s Office Furniture Handicap (1400 metres) viewed as the ideal lead-up race for Cosmologist.
With three wins from six runs next to his name heading into Wednesday’s race on a surface rated a good four, Mirfin is prepared to go as far as to say Cosmologist is better suited to a firm track than the sort of conditions he won in at Mudgee in the qualifier.
Cosmologist, a $250 chance the morning of the race when he was a third emergency, stormed to victory in the $150,000 CDRA country championship heat in torrential rain on February 25.
“But he’s also won twice on dry tracks. He’s not just a wet-tracker,” Mirfin added.
“A wet track fluke? That’s not fair on the horse. I think he handles the wet track and sometimes that takes other horses out of play.
“We thought he had a chance (in the qualifier) well before the rain came. The rain did help but he was set for that race a long time before that.
“We’ve got a high opinion of him and that’s based on what we’ve seen from him on dry tracks.
“I’m expecting him to run well (at Warwick Farm). He’s pulled up well. We need to give him a lead-up run to keep him ticking over.”
Wednesday’s race, regardless of the conditions, is a tough one, and Mirfin knows that.
Cosmologist is rated a 20-1 hope against quality field that includes Mack Griffith’s highly rated gelding Schedule, one of the pre-race favourites leading into the CDRA championship heat at Mudgee.
Schedule finished the heat in 10th.
Richard Freedman’s provincial championship hope Roman Son is also set to jump, while Mudgee trainer David Smith is sending Distinctive Look to Warwick Farm for the same race, his five-year-old is last year’s CDRA country championship heat winner.
Smith’s bay gelding is coming back from injury leading into Wednesday’s race but has trialed well throughout March.
Mirfin said he wouldn’t be surprised to see Griffith’s chance line-up in the championship’s wildcard heat at Muswellbrook on April 1.
“You can never be sure of what other people’s plans are but he could be one of the trainers looking at that race. Schedule is a nice horse,” he added.
Eleanor Webster-Hawes, the jockey who helped Cosmologist produce that stunning run to victory in the championship heat at Mudgee, is booked for the ride at Warwick Farm as well.
“She’ll do the job well,” Mirfin added.
Race seven, the $40,000 Bowerman’s Office Furniture Handicap (1400m) is scheduled to jump at 5.40pm on Wednesday.