Tradesman’s Comeback To Gather Momentum At Ascot

Tradesman’s comeback gathers momentum when he tackles the Budget Good To Go Handicap (1500m) at Ascot on Saturday.

After a nine month absence the Trade Fair gelding came agonisingly close to pulling off a brilliant return to racing two weeks ago.

The four-year-old was the subject of heavy support from punters, but was denied victory by Lunar Eclipse who prevailed by a neck.

Co-trainers Robert and Todd Harvey breathed a sigh of relief after the four-year-old emerged as a potential top liner last year.

Tradesman won the Listed Belmont Guineas (1600m) and Dayana Plate (2000m) before missing the Ascot carnival through injury.

Todd Harvey said Tradesman had recovered well from his first-up run and was primed to take the next step in his comeback.

“He came through the run very well and I can’t really fault him,” Harvey said on TABradio.

“It was good to see him come back to such good form after such a long layoff.

“He had the two trials before so he was quite forward going into the race.

“I thought he did a very good job.”

Tradesman and Lunar Eclipse lock horns for the second time in a fortnight with Star Exhibit from the Grant Williams stable also posing a serious threat.

The Statue Of Liberty gelding has won two of his past three starts and holds TAB favouritism at $2.45. He has drawn the widest gate

Lunar Eclipse, from the in-form Dan Morton stable, is unbeaten this campaign after a strong closing run to defeat Ron’s Call over 1200m at Ascot in March.

Harvey said he expects Tradesman to turn the tables on Lunar Eclipse.

“I think there is no doubt he can turn the tables,” Harvey said.

“He was coming off a long layoff and there is natural improvement.

“The horse has indicated off the track that he has improved.

“He has got to be a very good chance of turning the tables.”

Tradesman gains a 1 ½ kg weight swing on Lunar Eclipse. In a field of eight starters he has drawn barrier seven for Troy Turner.

“I don’t mind him drawing a little bit out as he is a big horse and probably appreciates galloping room,” Harvey said.

“In a small field he should be able to get one off with a bit of cover midfield and Troy can get him to the outside.”

Lunar Eclipse carries top weight of 58.5kg with the claim of Turner’s son, Jordan.

The Choisir gelding is $3.60. Tradesman is the second elect at $3.50.