Dig Deep has got the right draw he needed, but co-trainers Dan and Ben Pearce know he will also need a major does of luck to win the Group 1 Heineken 3 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Good fortune hasn’t been kind to the former Karrakatta Plate champion in his two runs this preparation, but after coming up with barrier seven in the Railway Stakes and a lightweight 53kg on his back, he gets a chance to make his presence felt.
Dig Deep had a wide barrier to contend with in the Hannans Handicap (1400m) and after being forced to go back in the field he charged home to run a half-length second to shock winner Startthefriar.
Last month in the Northam Stakes (1600m) the five-year-old encountered traffic issues in the straight before winding up with 57.5kg and attacking the line to finish fifth to Railway Stakes rival, Kaptain Kaos.
“He hasn’t missed a beat,” Dan Pearce said on Tabradio.
“I thought he was unlucky at Northam, he drew a good gate and coming to the corner he had nowhere to go.
“By the time he did get out and get going the ones down the outside with the momentum were off and gone.
“He was always going to struggle to pick them up, but we were happy with the run there.
“I think he deserves to have a go and we wouldn’t be there if we didn’t think we could give it a crack.
“He’s going to need things go his way but I think he goes better when he draws soft and gets the split at the right time.”
Dig Deep gave the Pearce stable their biggest success in racing when he won the Group 2 Karrakatta Plate in 2019, defeating Tinsnip by a neck.
Since they formed a partnership at the beginning of the 2017-18 racing season, the brothers have won over 200 races including 11 black-type events.
Dan Pearce said adding a Group 1 race to their racing resume would be a major achievement.
“Group 1 for a racehorse trainer is like an Olympic gold medalist for an athlete,” Pearce said.
“It’s what you work towards and it’s something we’ve come close to.
“I think we’ve run two seconds and a fourth in Group ones.
“It’s certainly something very high on our target.”
Pat Carbery gets his first sit on Dig Deep. In current Tabtouch markets the son of Deep Field is $61.
Meanwhile Pearce says Vital Silver is well suited to the Listed Carbine Club Of WA Stakes (1400m).
The eight-year-old is second up this campaign and has drawn perfectly in barrier one.
“We’ve lowered the sights a little bit, we had him nommed for the Winterbottom Stakes,” Pearce said.
“He actually gets in this race really well at set weights and penalties.
“Because it’s been a long time between drinks for him, he gets in on the minimum (55kg).
“It looks a good race for him.”