The Mick Price-trained Count Of Limonade is set to contest the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) on Saturday after missing the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown last Saturday.
The five-year-old horse was scratched from the race the morning of after suffering from an elevated temperature.
Count Of Limonade, who is due to jump from barrier six with Dean Yendall in the saddle, is currently an $11 shot in the Ballarat Cup betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au but Price has warned punters he will not take his place in the feature race on Saturday if the track is too firm.
“He’s typical of those European imports in that they need the right track surfaces to show their best,” Price told Sky Racing.
The horse was a slow winner of the Moe Cup (2050m) on October 16 before finishing fifth in the Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m) on October 29, which was the last time Count Of Limonade was seen. The surface of the track at Bendigo was good with the horse well and truly feeling it. If it had been a little softer, Price believes the result could have been different.
“He’s a bit of a wet tracker and we haven’t seen the best of him as yet,” he said.
“His Moe Cup win was good before he felt the ground at Bendigo.”
Irrespective of how Count Of Limonade runs in the 2014 Ballarat Cup, the horse will head to the spelling paddock afterwards. Part-owners OTI Racing are keen to continue their big spring successes after winning the Zipping Classic with Au Revoir and the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) with Renew last weekend, however their main target for Count Of Limonade is to finally tackle Group level races during the autumn.
“This will be his last chance this preparation as I want to give him a chance in the autumn,” Price said.
“Obviously he has to go up in grade but I think he can.
“Win, lose or draw we’ll spell him after Saturday for the autumn.”
Open your Ladbrokes.com.au betting account today to receive a little extra in the 2014 Ballarat Cup. The online bookmaker is offering Best Tote or SP + 20%, which means you’ll earn 20% extra on top of any of your winnings in the race.