Mick Price is hoping a step up to 2000m and a change in race tactics will see Callanish return to the winner’s circle in the Group 3 2013 Easter Cup at Caulfield on Saturday.
The four-year-old was unbeaten in the first eight starts of his career but has so far failed to break through in three starts this autumn.
Price admits he has struggled slightly since making the step up in grade, suggesting his natural speed isn’t good enough to cut it in strong Group races at 1600m.
“I’ve always wanted to get to 2000 metres with him. His form’s good, the horse’s good and I reckon he’ll be a live chance,” Price told Racing Victoria.
“I want him to have a few horses in front of him over 2000m so that he doesn’t have to be the bunny.”
A son of leading sire Fastnet Rock, Callanish is coming off a fourth-place finish to Melbourne Cup favourite Pusissance De Lune in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes.
Prior to that he ran third in the Listed TAB Stakes and eighth in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes.
Despite being well placed in the Easter Cup, Callanish will still have to overcome a quality field that includes David Hayes’ Caulfield Cup hope Jet Away.
The Cape Cross import announced himself in sensational style in his first start on Australian soil when flying home to win the $150,000 Yalumba Mile by 1 1/2 lengths.
Also contesting the Easter Cup are Moonee Valley Cup winner Vatuvei, veteran gelding Wall Street, Group 3 winner Folding Gear and last-start winners Whisper Downs and Keep Cool.
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