SIMON Ryan hopes a hurdle trial by Blenheim Palace at Warrnambool on Wednesday will have sharpened up the six -year-old for his maiden hurdle debut over 3200 metres at Hamilton on Sunday.
Blenheim Palace, with Braidon Small aboard, beat Lord Pierro in the 2800 metre trial.
Ryan said Blenheim Palace put in a some sticky jumps at a couple of the hurdles.
"I've got my fingers crossed Blenheim Palace will improve with that trial under his belt," the Warrnambool trainer said.
"Wednesday was his second hurdle trial and he had improved on the back of his first one in early March. Blenheim Palace is a handy stayer on flat but with a bit of experience and time I'm hoping he may develop into a good jumper.
"Braidon was happy with his trial and will ride him on Sunday which is positive as he has a good understanding of Blenheim Palace. It'll be an interesting race on Sunday as there all maiden jumpers. I think luck will play a big part in the result."
Bookmakers rate Blenheim Palace as a $7 chance in the early betting markets for the maiden hurdle.
Top jumps trainer Eric Musgrove should play a significant role in the three jumps races on Sunday's eight event program.
Musgrove saddles up seven jumpers. Dr Dependable and Joshua Reynolds are his maiden hurdle runners while Serenade The Stars, Cheners, Looking Around and The Bedouin line up in restricted hurdle. Lucques is his representative in the steeplechase.
The first race the maiden hurdle starts at 1.00pm on Sunday.
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