Travel makes task too tough for Debt Agent

Craig Brennan

Like everyone, trainer Jim Conlan has been forced to make adjustments to plans for his horses and has abandoned a Sydney trip for Debt Agent.

Against a backdrop of coronavirus protocols and conditions on border crossings, former Singapore champion Debt Agent will run in Saturday's Bendigo Mile.

The meeting had looked in jeopardy after racing was suspended on Wednesday following jockey Mark Zahra's potential exposure to COVID-19 when he travelled on a commercial flight on March 12.

Zahra was cleared of coronavirus late on Thursday and racing resumed on Friday.

Conlan was planning to take the five-time Singapore Group One winner to Sydney to run in the Doncaster Mile at Randwick on Saturday week.

While there is no restriction on Debt Agent racing in Sydney, there are many conditions on getting him there.

"Originally before all this broke out I was going to give him a trial at Balnarring on Wednesday and then head up for the Doncaster," Conlan said.

"But with what's going on it just seemed too hard. You've got to take whatever you can, whenever it's available.

"If you can have a crack at something, do it, and I thought who knows what the situation is going to be like in another week.

"You kind of say take it day by day, but now it's press release by press release."

After three runs in the spring, Debt Agent resumed with a closing fourth to Wild Planet over 1400m at Flemington on March 7.

Conlan said Debt Agent was now fully acclimatised to Australian conditions and had taken improvement from his first-up outing.

"So long as they can run on, and generally at Bendigo when the rail is in the true position they can, it looks an OK race for him," Conlan said.

"This preparation has gone along beautifully whereas last time it was a struggle to get him right.

"He had the spell after the spring and got himself acclimatised and hasn't had a day's issue."

Where Debt Agent heads after Saturday's race, Conlan is unsure, especially with Racing Queensland scrapping its winter carnival.

Conlan had been considering May's Doomben Cup for Debt Agent.