Nerodio to be put to the test in Belmont Sprint

Trainer Stephanie Bakranich had a sense of trepidation when Nerodio ran in the Roma Cup (1200m), but by the end of the race, she could not have been prouder of him

Stephanie Bakranich had a couple of doubts ahead of the G3 winter feature, mainly fitness after a decent spell and his ability to handle pressure against a classy weight-for-age line up.

But Bakranich’s fears were allayed and some of her concerns answered with Nerodio running a cracking fifth to star sprinter, Elite Street, beaten just over three lengths.

“He ran a super race and we were very, very happy with him,” Bakranich said on Tabradio.

“I only got the one trial into him and that was five weeks prior and I was hoping to give him two trials, that would have helped him.

“Obviously, I realised he was up against a great class of horses and for race fitness I would have preferred the extra trial.

“He always tries his hardest and I always know he is going to be amongst it if he is sound and well and I have him one hundred per cent.

“I really focused on that more than anything and not worry about the rest.

“He always does lots of miles, he just doesn’t do a lot of galloping.”

Unlike the Roma Cup, Bakranich goes into Saturday’s Belmont Sprint with renewed confidence.

Nerodio faces another test, tackling 1400m for the first time, but Bakranich believes he can handle the trip.

“Especially having that run under his belt and he really had a good track gallop on Saturday,” Bakranich said.

“He’s in super order and I’m really looking forward to Saturday, he’s never started over the 1400m, but I think he’ll run it well.

“He settles well and has a good turn of foot; he hasn’t done it because we don’t gallop him a lot.”

Bakranich says Nerodio will not progress beyond the Belmont Sprint on the weekend.

He’ll revert back to the shorter trips of the Beaufine Stakes (1000m) and Bolton Sprint (1200m) in July.

The son of Playing God scored his maiden black type victory in last year’s Beaufine Stakes, defeating Gemma’s Son.

“I think we will more than likely freshen him up and then go back to the winter sprints,” Bakranich said.

“We have six weeks to be able to do that and I would definitely like to go back there, that will be our next race after Saturday.”

Laqdar Ramoly, who took out his first big race on Nerodio in the 2021 Beaufine Stakes, will ride the six-year-old in the Belmont Sprint.

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