SIMON Ryan is hoping for a few heavy downfalls of heavy rain before the running of Sunday's $125,000 Thackeray Steeplechase at Warrnambool.
Ryan's tough jumper Police Camp, who loves wet tracks, lines up for his fourth start in the feature jumps race on the seven-event program.
The eight-year-old won the 2019 Thackeray and has minor placings in the 2018 and 2020 events to his credit but on Sunday he tackles a small, classy field of five other 'chasers in the 3450-metre contest, according to Warrnambool-based trainer Ryan.
"It might be a small field but it's a good field of jumpers," he told The Standard.
"My best chance is if we get more rain on Saturday and Sunday. My bloke is a mud lark.
"I'm thinking the heavy track will bring the other classy jumpers back to Police Camp.
"The track was bottomless when he won the Thackeray in 2019 and it was really heavy last year when he ran second.
"His main rivals on Sunday - Britannicus, Flying Agent, Yulong Place and Bit Of A Lad - are all good jumpers.
"I thought Britannicus trialled well around here a few days ago, his biggest concern could be the real heavy track. It should be a great race."
Police Camp, who ran a brave second behind Heberite in the Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase in May at his last outing, was scratched from an open steeplechase at Casterton last Sunday.
"I decided to save Police Camp for the Thackeray," Ryan said.
"I didn't want to back him up two weeks in a row so I chose to have another crack at the Thackeray.
"I'm hoping I pulled the right reign."
Darryl Horner, who rode Police Camp into second place in the Grand Annual Steeplechase earlier this year, has the ride on Sunday.
The first of five jumps races is at 12.30pm.
The other jumps feature - the Lafferty Hurdle - is at 1.50pm while the Thackeray Steeplechase is set to start at 3.10pm.
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