Flemington horseman John Sadler isn’t ruling anything out for his popular grey galloper Linton this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival 2012, although he admitted that the Mackinnon Stakes on Victoria Derby Day was one of the more appealing options.
The six-year-old Galileo gelding took their career record to four wins from 17 starts for over $880,000 in prize money last time out when winning the Group 3 RA Lee Stakes over the Morphettville mile back in May.
It was the first time Linton had seen the inside of a winners’ stall since their Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) win when under the preparation of Robert Hickmott in October of 2010.
It was also their maiden run for Sadler who is hopeful of a form revival from the one-time Melbourne Cup fancy.
Linton has been nominated for all of the spring majors this year including the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27 and the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) the week before.
They pay $81 in the latest Cox Plate odds which are led by Gai Waterhouse’s pin-up mare More Joyous ($7) and their undefeated young stablemate Pierro ($7.50), and are at the same juicy price in the futures Caulfield Cup betting odds.
This year will be the horse’s third straight Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Two years ago they were one of the spruik stayers of the season with their Herbert Power success followed by a brave second behind subsequent Melbourne Cup runner-up Maluckyday in the Group 3 The Lexus Stakes (2500m).
They failed their distance test in that year’s Melbourne Cup however when finishing 21st (of 23), beaten over 35 lengths by the French-trained winner Americain on the first Tuesday of November.
Last year Linton, who also ran a good third to the ill-fated Cedarberg in last year’s The BMW at Rosehill, had three spring runs but they failed to finish better than sixth during their final campaign under Hickmott.
Sadler has penciled in the $300,000 Group 2 Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 8 as the resuming run for Linton.
While keeping an open mind when it comes to races like the Caulfield Cup 2012 and 2012 Cox Plate, Sadler believes Linton’s best chance at a Group 1 win this time would come in a race like the $1 million Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, Saturday November 3.
“The way he is at the moment, I’m really excited about him,” Sadler said.
“We’re more looking at the Mackinnon with him but we’re still inclined to keep our options open.”
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