Eddie LYNAM has enjoyed another fantastic year but what should have been an exciting build-up to the challenge of Slade Power taking on Australia's finest sprinters in Saturday's Darley Classic at Flemington has proved to be a somewhat frustrating experience.
However, after Slade Power drew stall number four yesterday, Lynam is still confident the horse can do him proud despite not getting special dispensation to load last from the stewards of Racing Victoria.
Lynam said: "I have spoken at length to the people at Racing Victoria and they know the situation with our horse and they have assured me that his safety won't be put to any risk."
Slade Power's participation had momentarily looked in doubt last week when he got distressed in the stalls when going through a routine trial at Flemington and Lynam failed to get permission to load the leading sprinter into the stalls last on race day like the horse has done previously in Ireland, England and Hong Kong.
Racing Victoria have agreed to loosen some of the protocol that surrounds the loading of horses in races down here Lynam revealed.
"My lad who loaded with him in the July Cup and in all his races this year will load with him. He'll wear a hood, Wayne Lordan will take it off and I'm happy enough that they have covered every angle."
Lynam added: "My groom will be down at the gates during racing tomorrow (Thursday) getting familiar with the loading procedures over here and they have assured me that Slade Power will be going in late if not last so I'm back now worrying about the end of the race rather than the start of it."
Slade Power is still available at around the 6/1 mark for the Darley Classic over six furlongs which is one of the final big races of the Spring Carnival on Saturday and some of his track work this week makes that price look rather attractive, according to some observers from the Flemington track.
Reflecting on how the horse has been working this week, his trainer stated: "He is going well and, to the eye, he went well at Flemington on Tuesday morning in what some are saying was a fast time but it was only bridle work. Wayne (Lordan) rode him and he seems very happy."
Lordan warmed up for the ride on Slade Power over the course and distance on Melbourne Cup day when he partnered the Godolphin-owned outsider Reparations to victory for trainer Anthony Freedman on what was just his second ride ever on Australian soil.