Dual Listed winner Dylanson will need to defy his 61.5kg top weight and outsider odds to return to his best form in tomorrow’s Italian Plate (1450m).
Dylanson’s peak form was good enough to win two Listed races at Morphettville in Adelaide during the 2015 autumn carnival.
Leading South Australian trainer Phillip Stokes trained Dylanson then, but the gelding’s form has dropped off since shifting stables to Todd Balfour in February last year (no placings in seven starts) and Declan Maher at the start of this year.
Caulfield trainer Maher prepared Dylanson to win as a hot favourite in the $20000 Towong Cup (1600m) in March — the nine-year-old’s first success since November 2016.
Although Dylanson has failed at long odds in five subsequent runs, tomorrow’s $25000 Tatura feature is at a similar level to the Towong Cup.
Jockey Jack Hill will carry 61.5kg aboard Dylanson.
Echuca trainer Gwenda Johnstone has the only Italian Plate runner who has raced at Tatura before — Fighting Shadow.
A second placing over 1000m at Tatura in August will give Johnstone confidence Fighting Shadow can handle the tight-turning track.
The four-year-old gelding also drops 4kg — down to the second bottom weight of 56kg — after winning at Benchmark 58 level at Seymour last start.
Jarrod Fry will stay aboard Flying Shadow, who as a front-runner jumping from barrier two on a Tatura track that typical favours leaders looks a great each-way chance at odds.
Kronos (Seymour’s Stephen Brown), Tadween (Euroa’s Lindsay Park) and Elmore Lad (Bendigo’s Kym Hann) are other on-pace runners the Tatura track could suit.
The Italian Plate will be run at 4pm, with the first of seven races at 12.58pm tomorrow.