Availability is racing for far more than just the prize money in this Saturday’s Programmed Maintenance Services Handicap at Eagle Farm, he’s also racing for a spot on the plane to Melbourne.
The Robert Heathcote trainer runner needs to prove himself a genuine thoroughbred if he’s to get his chance during Australia’s premiere racing carnival.
He takes on this weekend’s 1000m test after blowing away the field over 1110m on debut two weeks ago.
That race was only a Doomben maiden though and Heathcote wants to see how he fares at the next level.
“This is his test. He’s a good horse and he won his maiden very well but the horse he beat (Diet) was beaten easily at Doomben yesterday,” Heathcote said.
“That concerns me a little and it could be significant.”
That being said they still haven’t got to the bottom of Availability and he’s expected to improve from his first up run.
That’s encouraging given he broke the class record over 1110m at Doomben and completed the final 600m in under 34 seconds.
“It’s always a big ask for any horse to win on debut and he did it quite well,” Heathcote said.
“But this is a lot harder race. He’s up against horses like Aquatorial, who is proven in the city on a Saturday, and a promising horse in Excapishe.
“It’s up in the air at the moment whether I’ll send him to Melbourne with the others but if he goes well enough I’ll seriously consider it.
“If he wins like a good horse again he may deserve a trip away.”
While he may defending a fledgling unbeaten career Aquatorial is defending a two race streak of his own.
He’s cut his worth on the sand track out at Toowoomba but is now starting to find his feet on the turf as well.
His debut was arguably even more impressive than that of Availability as he destroyed the field by seven lengths.
Inexperience cost him in his city starts after that but his trainer Ron Macrae says he looks a lot better this prep after a first up win against older horses in Toowoomba and a last start Doomben win.
He isn’t looking towards a possible Melbourne campaign though with the $1m Magic Millions Guineas his sole aim.
He was bought from the sales as a $50,000 yearling and connections have already rejected numerous offers well above that mark from people interested in acquiring the colt.