There’s an extra 100,000 reasons for connections of Academy to hope talented three-year-old can find his best form at Kembla Grange on Wednesday.
Trainer Mark Newnham concedes the gelding has been chasing fitness in his two runs back but will have no excuses on that score as he eyes the huge bonus money in the Kembla Grange $100,000 BOBS Platinum Handicap (1600m).
It’s the first BOBS Platinum bonus offered in 2020 and Newnham said it was an irresistible target for a horse he’s sure is ready to fire.
“He could've gone to another race but for not as much money so we'll try our hand there,’’ Newnham said.
“He's fit now, he's taken a while to come good in the coat as well. I'm happy with the way he looks now and it's a good race for him.’’
Academy won his first two starts and earned himself a shot at Group 3 company in the Ming Dynasty in August where he struck a heavy track and was beaten six lengths by Quick Thinker.
Wide barriers have hampered Academy in his two runs this summer, the latest a midfield fifth behind Rocha Clock, but Newnham has been satisfied under the circumstances.
“I haven't been disappointed with him he's just needed to be fitter,’’ he said.
“He did a bit much early (second-up) and he got a real shove on the turn and that knocked the wind out of him and he got tired.
“He's had a bit of work and a trial since then so there won't be excuses.’’