A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
Still to be convinced that the young Ajeeb can develop into a genuine 2013 Toorak Handicap hope this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, Caulfield horseman Mick Price runs them at their home track this Saturday to better gauge their new season potential.
A winner of three of their five career starts to date three-year-old Al Maher colt Ajeeb shoots for a half dozen in the $80,000 Cadell Food Service Handicap (1400m) on the weekend.
They have suffered an early blow in the big 16 starter field having drawn wide in gate 14, coming into 13 with emergencies out.
Craig Newitt is booked for the ride having been aboard for their first-up effort when thriving on the all weather track against older company at Geelong on July 9.
“His first-up win was tough and bold with the big weight, doing it at both ends, albeit down in grade,” Price said.
That was their first run in four months and an impressive effort considering they carried 60kg, Ajeeb to come back to 56kg on Saturday where weights are led by Stephen Theodore’s Road Trippin’ (60kg) who occupies the second line of betting at $5.50.
Despite their awkward gate Ajeeb is the current $4.20 favourite for Caulfield Race 7 on Saturday.
Price has a nice opinion of the rising four-year-old and has had for a while as evidenced by him running the youngster in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington back in March.
Ajeeb came off back-to-back wins before the Guineas but could only manage to finish four and a half lengths away seventh to Ferlax in the autumn classic.
They will get another chance at elite level during the upcoming spring features but exactly which race they will target is yet to be confirmed.
At this stage Price believes they may make a nice type for the $400,000 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12.
How they perform at the track this weekend however will help guide him as to whether that’s the right goal.
“He has to come on,” Price said.
“He might be a Toorak Handicap horse, I don’t think he’s a weight-for-age horse, but he might be a Toorak Handicap horse if his form’s good.”
Other notable rivals for Ajeeb on Saturday include last start winner at the track and distance Pillar Of Creation ($6) and lightly raced Refuse To Bend three-year-old Committed ($8).
To follow the campaign of Ajeeb stay tuned to Races.com.au.
Then to back them next race and in their eventual Group 1 target at the best prices head over to bookmaker.com.au where punters will get all the hottest spring odds.
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