Teaching On The Ropes to settle is the key to the talented galloper realising his potential, according to trainer Fred Kersley.

Despite showing his best form over 1400m last year, On The Ropes will tackle his second successive 1000m race at Belmont Park today.

The four-year-old burst on to the scene with brilliant victories at his first two starts last year, including a four-length romp over 1400m.

But Kersley is taking a patient approach, restricting him to short-course sprints for his current campaign.

On The Ropes had no problems with the 1000m first-up last month when he ran on from seventh to beat It's A Merc.

"The 1000m is not his favoured journey and second-up you have to have a question mark on him," Kersley told TAB Radio.

"But that's part of the plan, for him to learn to be a better racehorse.

"With speed in the race he has a much better chance of settling early.

"If he can pull them back late, that would be great. He's in the race with a very good chance."

Brad Parnham has picked up the ride from his injured brother Steven.

Kersley also has claims today with Zuccheros (Barry James Farmer 70th Birthday Handicap) and Go Tiger (Westspeed Stayers Bonus Handicap).

He said veteran sprinter Grand Nirvana was likely to be retired if he didn't bounce back to form in the $125,000 Hyperion Stakes (1600m).

Meanwhile, in-form trainer Brett Pope is confident Prohurst Express can overcome a wide draw in today's Westspeed Handicap (1200m).

Prohurst Express, a winner at three of six starts, steps up to tackle boom three-year-old Sujet.

Pope expects the three-year-old to settle back from his outside draw in the field of nine.

"There is Sujet and a couple of other nice ones in, it but I think he'll be competitive," Pope said.

·Jockey Ryan Hill sustained fractures to his vertebrae, ribs and scapula when a horse landed on him in a trackwork fall at Lark Hill yesterday morning.

Hill, who also sustained punctured lungs in the fall, was transferred from Rockingham Hospital to Royal Perth Hospital yesterday afternoon.

"But that's part of the plan, for him to learn to be a better racehorse.""On The Ropes' trainer *Fred Kersley *

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

More from The West