Corsica Lad will be out to defend their undefeated record when the late maturing galloper faces their first black-type field in Saturday’s 2014 All Victorian Sprint Series Final.
Albury trainer Brett Cavanough is keen to step the Shamardal gelding up in class this weekend in the $150,000 Listed All Victorian Sprint Series Final (1200m) to see if they’re worthy of chasing some of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival’s softer races.
“I think he’ll go to Flemington and we’ll test him out against the best,” Cavanough told The Daily Examiner this week.
“If they go good then we can ease up and we might have a couple of horses for some of the weaker races in the Spring.”
There are nine other gallopers engaged in the race, running as the fourth on Flemington’s Finals Day card, including a number of top Group performers.
The Richard Pegum-owned Corsica Lad has drawn wide in barrier nine with Wagga Gold Cup winning jockey Craig Newitt engaged for the ride.
Newitt, who won Pegum and co-owner Garry Towzell the Wagga Gold Cup aboard Trade Commissioner back in May, is the third jockey in as many starts for the rising five-year-old.
On debut at Wagga back in May they carried 59kg to victory in the Kooringal Hotel Maiden Plate (1000m).
They were then dropped back in distance for their second start then on June 8 at Swan Cup Day where Linda Meech rode them for an all-too-easy three and a half length victory.
While they were dominant that day the field they face on Saturday is much tougher.
They do however drop back from 59kg to the 54kg minimum which will aid their cause.
Cavanough has two other gallopers set for a Finals Day assignment in Melbourne on Saturday.
In the first he will saddle-up another undefeated hope with the Towzell-owned Fund Trader racing in the $120,000 Listed Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m).
The New Approach colt is one of 13 two-year-olds in the mile clash with Daniel Stackhouse booked for the ride.
Stackhouse stays on after riding them to victory in the youngster’s debut at Echuca at the Murray River back on June 23 where they handled a Heavy (9) track over 1200m.
The Monstar is his third runner of the day, the California Dane five-year-old to take their place from barrier 12 (of 16) in the $120,000 Listed A.R. Creswick Series Final (1200m).
The in-form gelding has run top three in their past four lead-up runs including two wins, the most recent of which was at Swan Hill over 975m at the start of last month.
They were last seen racing over the 1100m at Flemington a fortnight ago when a close third behind upset 61-1 winner Beleepu in heat five of the series and will be ridden by Mark Zahra.
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