Justine Erkelens will bank on a change of tactics to bring about a return to winning form for Friar Fox in the Listed Towton Cup (2200m) at Ascot on Saturday.
In a field of eight starters, Erkelens expects Friar Fox to be handier to the lead after settling back and running on strongly at her past three Listed races.
Friar Fox ran fifth in the Northam Cup (1600m), fourth in the Ascot Gold Cup (1800m) and last-start finished fifth to Missile Launch in the Tattersall’s Cup (2100m).
Steven Parnham retains the ride on Friar Fox and jumps from the second widest gate. The daughter of Blackfriars is $7.50 with Tabtouch.
“We definitely need to be closer,” Erkelens told Tabradio.
“It’s not working obviously getting so far back.
“You just can’t win races from there.
“She is coming home well, but it’s all too late.
“You have to be in contact around the corner.
“If she can just be up a bit closer and with an extra 100 metres hopefully that can suit.
“The main thing is just get her a bit closer and wake her up closer to the pace.
“She worked good on the grass on Thursday and she is pretty bright.
“I’m happy with her and hopefully tomorrow (Saturday) we can do that.”
Forceful, placed third in the Tattersall’s Cup, is the $2.35 favourite ahead of Taxagano ($4.60).
Spiritual Warrior ($6), Missile Launch ($6) and Friar Fox are the remaining runners in single figures.
Parnham is chasing his second Towton Cup success after he won on Fulgur in 2015.