Ultra-consistent Mossman four-year-old Second Effort will line up at Caulfield on Saturday vying for their fifth consecutive win and their locally-based trainer Clinton McDonald hopes the victory streak continues and they won’t have to settle for second in the Sir John Monash Stakes.
One of just eight acceptors for this year’s $100,000 Listed Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m), Second Effort has drawn mid-field in barrier eight and is currently rated the second favourite behind smart Group 1 placegetting filly Warm Love.
Jockey Chris Symons has been booked for the Second Effort mount in the 2011 Monash Stakes, having ridden the horse once before for a win at Sandown Lakeside last month.
That win was one of four that Second Effort has produced at their four most recent runs.
Overcoming hefty weights, wide gates and Slow – Heavy track conditions, Second Effort has emerged as a genuine spring contender which will be further tested in the Monash on Saturday.
“The horse is great and I couldn’t be happier with him,” McDonald said.
“He’s absolutely raring to go.
“Mentally he’s in a fantastic spot.
“He has always shown us a lot and I remember Glen Boss won on him (in June 2010) and he thought he was Group Three or Listed horse.
“Hopefully he will justify that in the coming weeks.”
Originally Second Effort, a known mud-lark undefeated in their six starts on rain-affected ground, was to run in the All Victorian Spring Final (1200m) at Flemington last Saturday.
McDonald chose to scratch him for the race, however, in favour of running Second Effort on the softer ground that is predicted at Caulfield this weekend.
“We seem to get wetter tracks the later we go into the season so there was no urgency to run him last week on a dead four,” McDonald explained.
“If it (the Caulfield track) gets to a dead (5) that would be fine.
“His win the other day at Moonee Valley was virtually a dead track.”
Long-term hopes for McDonald are that Second Effort can reach the same heights as his former champion, seven-time Group winner Regal Roller.
Retired in 2006 having pulled up lame after finishing dead last in that year’s CF Orr Stakes, Regal Classic gelding Regal Roller sent McDonald on the ride of his life winning a hat-trick of Group 1 races over their career in the 2005 Futurity Stakes, 2004 Toorak Handicap and 2004 Dubai Racing Club Cup.
McDonald now believes Second Effort is shaping up as a similar-type racehorse to their esteemed stablemate, with their on-pace style of racing one of the similarities.
“The way he is going he can develop (into another Regal Roller) for sure,” McDonald said.
“He’s gone from a 0-72 at Warrnambool in May to a Listed race in the Monash at Caulfield in that short period of time.
“He’s on an upward spiral and normally when horses can do that and keep measuring up to every stepping point they are given they are going places.”
Following the Sir John Monash Stakes, McDonald has outlined a spring campaign targeting the $125,000 Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 7 followed by either the fittingly-named $100,000 Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) a week later or the $200,00 Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) – formerly known as the JJ Liston Stakes.
“If he can win his next two, I’m very keen to get him out to 1400 metres in a race like the Memsie Stakes,” McDonald also said.
The $200,000 Group 2 Memsie Stakes (1400m) will run at Caulfield on August 27.
“I just think he’d be the same sort of horse over 1400 metres against some of those staying horses coming back,” McDonald added.