Arod looking to clean up in Ajax

Arod is in action at his local track of Rosehill Garden, Sydney, tomorrow when tackling the Aus$200,000 Gr.2 Ajax Stakes (17.00 local time, 06.00 in UK).

Trainer Chris Waller is also planning to run Hursley in a handicap at Flemington, while in Japan, Great Pearl (pictured right) is set to line up at Hanshin.

Defying very soft ground, Arod ran a cracking race in the Gr.3 Liverpool City Cup at Randwick last month when second to his stablemate McCreery, who won by a length. Arod is one of 12 runners in tomorrow’s 1,500m handicap, in which Tye Angland will again be donning Qatar Bloodstock colours.

Drawn in barrier 11, Arod will line up on the outside of the field, but Waller is not unduly worried, and said: “We’ll be looking to get him switched off and relaxed. If all goes well his next race could be the Doncaster Mile.”

There has been plenty of rain in Sydney in the past ten days, but a dry day is forecast and drying ground will be no hindrance to Arod.

Hursley runs in a $100,000 handicap (12.00 local time, 01.00 in UK) over 1,800m and in which 10 runners stand their ground. Joao Moreira rides Hursley from barrier five, and after a good run when second last time is among the more likely winners.

Waller reports the son of Makfi worked very satisfactorily on Tuesday, when doing a three-quarter speed over 1,000m and then breezing another 400m, and he is happy to have gained Moreira’s services while Craig Williams is suspended.

Pearl Bloodstock’s Great Pearl, who has won his three most recent races, makes his debut on Hanshin's dirt track when tackling a race over 2,000m (15.35 local time, 06.35 in UK) – it is an open race, the equivalent of a Listed event in Europe.

Trainer Mitsu Nakauchida, who has booked Ryuji Wada for the ride, said: “Giving Great Pearl two months since his most recent race [January 5] has worked well, and he is fit and ready to go. I’m hoping he can get a handy position, and if so he should run well.”