• Racing Tips
    Assassin ready to take out rivals Assassin ready to take out rivals

    KEN ROGERS

    CONNECTIONS of comeback pacer Dusky Assassin hope he can catapult his way to the top of the TAB Graduation Championship when he ventures to... Assassin ready to take out rivals

    CONNECTIONS of comeback pacer Dusky Assassin hope he can catapult his way to the top of the TAB Graduation Championship when he ventures to Globe Derby on Saturday night.

    Returning from a 20-month break a fortnight ago, Dusky Assassin was too slick in a heat of the series for trainer Greg Rogers.

    Earning nine points for his effort, the son of Modern Art is fifth on the leader’s board which is headed by Thisexcusebetterbeit with 18 points from two wins.

    Thanks to some vision from HRSA, the TAB Graduation Championship is a restricted event for aged horses which have three wins or less.

    Consisting of 10 $4000 qualifiers, the Championship concludes with a $17,000 Final on July 20, with the field decided by points.

    There is also a $1000 trainers’ bonus for the runner which accumulates the most points.

    Entrants are not required to race in each heat, but will need to contest several to accumulate enough points to gain a berth in the decider.

    Along with this weekend’s appearance Dusky Assassin is likely to compete in “a couple more heats” according to driver Ken Rogers, who does most of the work with the gelding.

    “I drove him as a two and three-year-old and felt he always showed ability,” Rogers said. “But he’s been a bit of a nutcase.

    “There was nothing wrong with him physically during the time he wasn’t racing. I wanted to take time with him when he got to Dad’s stable.

    “He barely lets anyone get near him, but I’ve spent a lot of time with him to get his trust and his mind right and now we’re mates.

    “There are another five heats after Saturday night and he’s likely to go in at least a couple more heats.”

    Although drawn wide in barrier six, Dusky Assassin is a $3 favourite – a stark contrast to the $41.20 the six-year-old paid in his comeback win!

    “The draw could be a bit tricky, but he is fast out of the gate and will be going forward,” Rogers said. “Where he settles will depend on how well those inside him come out of the gate.”

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