Radford hopes long drought over for Comfort Me

It’s been three years since Comfort Me last celebrated race day success, but trainer Rhys Radford is embracing the challenge of putting an end to that winning drought in Sunday’s Group 3 Northam Stakes (1300m) at Northam.

Comfort Me.
Comfort Me. Picture: Western Racepix.

Although there's a large gap between wins it's not a reflection that Comfort Me is struggling or running poorly with the Playing God gelding placing eight times in black-type races including two seconds in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m).

Following a horror watch in the Roma Cup (1100m) first up when Comfort Me ran last and returned lame in the near fore, Radford breathed a sigh of relief after the seven-year-old rebounded and showed improvement in The Joey (1200m).

If not for some bad luck in running when he got held up at a vital stage in the straight before charging to the line to finish a length fourth behind Magnificent Andy, Radford thought Comfort Me was in line to finish even closer in the $200,000 race.

Radford is hoping fortune can finally go the way of Comfort Me in the Northam Stakes.

"I hope so, it's been a long time coming," Radford said on Tabradio.

"Look, he's drawn a very good barrier and has trained on good since his last run.

"A little bit of bad luck cost him running second, if not breaking the drought.

"We might have just gassed him first up and probably sat a length or two closer in the Roma Cup and they did run quick time.

"But, his last run he hit the line really good and he's trained on good.

"I'm looking forward to it and I'm excited."

Comfort Me, who has banked $1.2 million in prizemoney, ran second to Dom To Shoot, beaten a neck, in last year's Northam Stakes.

Sunday's race has attracted a quality group of 14 starters with Comfort Me to start from barrier two for Holly Watson.

Punters have not lost faith in Comfort Me; he's firmed from $12 to $8.50 and is on the third line of Tab touch betting.

Western Empire, $3.50 into $2.80, holds current favouritism.

The Grant and Alana Williams trained gelding ran a slashing third in The Joey.

Saloon Bar, a cracking fifth in the $5 million The Quokka, is next at $4.20 .