Trainer Jim Conlan is yet to decide whether former British horse Saptapadi will embark on his second spring campaign after struggling last year at the elite level in Australian racing.
After arriving in Australia late last year when still under the care of British trainer Brian Ellison, Saptapadi failed to make an impact in four Melbourne spring starts.
The six-year-old gelding began his campaign with an eighth-place effort in the Herbet Power Stakes before finishing in the back half of the field in the prestigious Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
In the final race of his preparation, the son of Indian Ridge again failed, finishing last in a five-horse field to Americain in the Group 2 Zipping Classic.
When Saptapadi first joined Conlan’s stables, the Mornington-based trainer thought he would be nothing more than a winter runner but recent work has Conlan considering the spring.
The stayer will get a chance to to signal his spring credentials this weekend when he lines up in a 1600-metre handicap at Flemington.
“His first couple of gallops I thought he was just an ordinary horse but as he has got fitter he has been more impressive in his work,” Conlan said.
Conlan said how he fares on Saturday will go a long way to deciding whether he will take a short break and be rested for a spring campaign or continue racing throughout the winter.
He has had just one chance since resuming this winter, finishing a distant 15th in the Luxbet Winter Championship Heat at Flemington on June 9.
Despite gaining entry into last year’s prestigious cup events, Saptapadi has only scored victory once and placed on three other occasions from 17 career outings.
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