The Doomben Cup 2018 takes centre stage in...
Cranbourne horseman Greg Eurell is hoping a nice run at Flemington this Saturday will pave the way for his rising four-year-old Actuariat to contest some nice Group 2 and 3 races during the upcoming Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The three-year-old son of Doemsday has had eight runs so far for three wins, two seconds and two thirds, the latest of which was a solid effort at Caulfield a fortnight ago.
Last seen in the winner’s stall in his most recent Flemington appearance back in April over 1400m when beating Vuelta a nose in a three-year-olds’ handicap, Actuariat finished one and three quarters of a length away third to the Mick Price-trained Volcanic Ash on July 4 over 1400m carrying 59.5kg with Steven Arnold aboard.
That followed a brave third to Magic Boy in Black-Type company at Morphettville in early May when only a length off the winner in the Listed Adelaide Guineas (1600m) and before that a second to Japhils in the Listed HC Nitschke Stakes (1400m) at Morphettville Parks.
On Saturday Eurell is hoping the horse can break the drought with a win in Flemington Race 8 this weekend, the $80,000 Flemington Event Staff Handicap (1600m) where jockey Craig Williams is tipping his mount to have the edge.
“I thought he was very good first-up. Again, he probably got out of the ground too far to give himself a better opportunity of winning, but he finished off very strongly,” Eurell told Racing Victoria.
“He’s pulled up terrific since then and he’s right on his game at the moment.
“He would have got a lot of benefit from his last start, he’s won at Flemington before and the weight factor (54kg) will be quite significant for him.”
Williams’ manager approached Eurell chasing the ride this weekend, Williams in a tight contest for this season’s Melbourne Jockeys’ Premiership, and that has only boosted Eurell’s confidence.
“Mark (Guest) approached me for this ride. They do their form very good, and he was one they targeted so it’s nice to think we’re on the same page,” he said.
The BenchMark 90 mile showdown features the likes of the in-form Majestic Duke after his fourth win from five starts and the Chris Waller-trained last start Sale winner Abbasso but it is Actuariat at $3.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au leading betting.
“It’s always a tougher ask against older, more experienced horses, but in saying that, he’s a good galloper this bloke and he’s failed to run a bad race for us yet,” Eurell added.
“The way he leads in, I can’t see him disappointing us this time either.
“He’s got a very good chance; I think it’s a great race for him.”
While unconvinced Actuariat has the class to contest a Group 1 race this Spring, Eurell is hoping he can get into some of the better support acts around the tracks over the coming months.
“Once we get through Saturday, we’ll have a chat about what we want to aim for,” he said.
“Saturday will help us see where he’s at. It’s by no means what he’d come up against in spring, but its open company so it should make things a bit clearer.
“I don’t think he’s a top Group 1 horse, but we certainly hope he’ll be contesting some Group 3 or 2 races.
“These horses are progressive though and sometimes once they’re more seasoned and hardened to the whole aspects of racing, they can certainly step up more than you expect so we’ll have to wait and see.”
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