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Five-year-old Spillway has won just one of his nine Australian starts since being imported from Britain; however co-trainer Tom Dabernig is confident the horse can win himself a nice race during the Melbourne autumn carnival.
It’s likely that Spillway will begin his campaign in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield Racecourse on February 14, which is a big step down in distance from his past three starts during the spring.
After running a very close second in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) first up in Melbourne, Spillway just missed out on a placing in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m). Plans then shifted for the horse with the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in trainers David Hayes & Dabernig’s sights. However two midfield finishes in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) ruled him out.
He was kept to distances over 2000 metres for the remainder of the season, finishing fourth in both the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes and Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m).
The horse will step down in distance during the autumn as he searches for his first win since the Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m) in April.
“He was pretty unlucky during the Spring as we changed course with him trying to get him into the Caulfield Cup and it didn’t eventuate but in a couple of his races he had no luck at all,” Dabernig told Racing Victoria.
“I wouldn’t say he doesn’t run 2400 metres but I think anywhere from a mile (1600m) to 2000 is probably his best distance range.
“I think he’s the type of horse that could win a nice race in the autumn.”
Dabernig noted the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington Racecourse on March 14 is also on the cards for Spillway.
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