Fanning comeback reliant on top jockey

SYDNEY Jun 12 2018

Clarry Conners faces a waiting game before learning whether reliable gelding Fanning can return to racing at Rosehill.

The veteran trainer believes the four-year-old is ready to resume in a Benchmark 85 Handicap (1100m) but he needs the right jockey.

Conners has been unable to book a senior rider, and not for the first time.

"There's six or seven riders that ride all the winners. They're the best riders and they just want to ride for the big stables," he said.

"It's very hard for people like me to get a decent rider."

Although the fields are declared on Wednesday, Conners expects to have to wait until later in the week for scratchings before deciding whether to start Fanning.

"Some horses drop out, and if you wait you might get the best jockey. That's how it's got now," Conners said.

He said he would delay Fanning's return if he could not source a preferred jockey, but the Randwick meeting on June 23 could also be problematic.

"I'm trying to get Fanning a rider now for Saturday week, and I'm not having much luck," he said.

"I make sure I try and have the best riders on him every time I can because he's a good strong horse."

James McDonald rode Fanning in both lead-up trials while Hugh Bowman, Jason Collett, Regan Bayliss and Corey Brown have held the reins for his past four starts.

Conners also plans to start He's A Given in a Benchmark 80 Handicap (1300m).

"He's a wet tracker, so from Saturday on I hope we get rain all the time for him," he said.

Chris Barclay - AAP

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