Beach work has helped bring last year’s SA Derby winner Escado through a big run in the Emirates Stakes last weekend with trainer Matt Laurie confident the horse can back up in the 2014 Eclipse Stakes this weekend at Sandown.
The Mornington-based Casino Prince gelding put in a gun run at Flemington in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) when sixth behind Hucklebuck and will be on the seven day turnaround when down in class for the $150,000 Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m).
Escado hasn’t won a race since his two length effort in the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) as a three-year-old in May last year with hit and miss form since.
He’s finished in the money just once in his subsequent 10 runs but that’s something Laurie hopes to atone for in the Eclipse Stakes.
Leading into the Emirates Stakes the horse was tested in Group 1 company again when seventh behind Trust In A Gust in the Toorak Handicap over the Caulfield mile.
He put in a stellar effort that day against a top field when finishing under two lengths away.
It is that sort of performance his trainer his hoping to see on the weekend then with an easier assignment lined up.
Escado is drawn in the outside barrier (12) for the Eclipse Stakes but there’s time to overcome the gate with Stephen Baster retaining the ride.
It’s a wide open affair in the Eclipse Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au this year with over half the field under double figures include Escado who is current $5 equal favourite with the Gai Waterhouse-trained Pheidon drawn one on his inside in barrier 11.
The horse has been tested on successive Saturdays a number of times before, including leading into the Toorak Handicap, and to help keep him ticking over Laurie is making sure he spends plenty of time on the beach.
“He visited the beach today and will probably go there tomorrow and again on Friday,” he told The West Australian.
“He’s where he needs to be and if he can run up to what he did the other day I’m sure he’ll be a big chance.”
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