Mornington trainers David Brideoake and David Feek are hoping their rising four-year-old Self Sense can develop into a genuine staying type ahead of the Warrnambool Cup 2015 next winter.
The Street Sense gelding gets an early chance to show off their staying potential this weekend when they race in the $80,000 Mypunters.com Handicap (2400m) at Caulfield’s Bletchingly Stakes Day.
A winner of their past two starts taking their overall record to five victories from 17 runs, Self Sense sees the mile and a half for the first time this weekend.
Two back at Traralgon they carried 59.5kg to an easy four length win over 1900m on a Heavy (9) track in a BenchMark 70.
Then at Caulfield next run on July 5 they handled 60kg and a step up to 2000m to beat home a decent field in an open handicap clash.
Saturday then is a bit of an acid test as they step up in distance again carrying the 60kg top weight with regular rider Noel Callow, aboard for their two most recent wins, staying on.
It’s Callow’s association and good record with the horse this season that gives co-trainer Feek confidence they can rise to the challenge.
Callow showed off his two-handed whip skills with the idiosyncratic Self Sense for their win at the track at the start of the month, something that could give the duo the upper hand again this weekend.
“He’s a bit of a quirky horse but Noel Callow has been able to get a good tune out of him,” Feek told AAP.
“I don’t think you’d want to be in the trenches with him. I’m not potting his temperament, he’s got no reason not to try, but he’s still mentally immature and physically immature.
“He needs good, strong handling and Noel gives him that.”
The bookies agree Self Sense is the one to beat on Saturday installing them as the $3.80 favourite for Caulfield Race 3.
“He’s in good shape and the way he won last time out, we were pleased,” Feek added.
“Once his mind’s made up, he goes about his business well and he’s quite a talented individual.”
Their main dangers look to be King’s Chapel three-year-old Pharrell in barrier three getting in with just 54kg who ran third to Self Sense last time out, the Patrick Payne-trained Labetenoire who ran second over 2020m in Adelaide last week and Ciaron Maher’s last start winner over 1809m Wanna Dance with the inside alley.
All going to plan Brideoake and Feek will continue to step Self Sense up in class over the coming months with an eye on running them in the $200,000 Listed Warrnambool Cup (2350m) next May during a country cups campaign.
“If he goes through his grades, he could be an ideal Warrnambool Cup horse,” Feek said.
To get behind your favourites in Melbourne this weekend, and also access the juiciest spring futures markets for the upcoming Group 1s, visit Ladbrokes.com.au and open your account with the online bookie rewarding new depositing players with a $250 bonus welcome bet!