2016 Standish Handicap Aim for Sistine Demon

Caulfield’s Andrew Noblet is hoping for better luck with Sistine Demon this weekend at Flemington, a track the six-year-old could return to on New Year’s Day for the Standish Handicap 2016.

Sistine Demon

Sistine Demon returns to Flemington on Saturday ahead of a possible 2016 Standish Handicap run at the track on New Year’s Day. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

First-up the Excites gelding was beaten only a length after a luckless run at Moonee Valley over 1000m behind Grane.

This weekend the chestnut, who hasn’t won since the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) in April last year, is out to break the drought at Flemington Racecourse in a $90,000 handicap over 1200m.

Sistine Demon has a 50% strike rate at the track with three wins from his previous six Flemington assignments and, with winning form up to 1630m, is tipped to appreciate the step up in distance also.

A multiple Group 1 performer, the sprinter – miler is capable of better things this Melbourne Summer Racing Carnival than his previous preparation produced according to Noblet who hasn’t lost faith in the horse’s ability.

“He just wanted to overdo everything, not relaxing and he was leading too hard and working too hard within himself,” Noblet said of Sistine Demon’s autumn – winter runs speaking to Racenet.

“He was just sore in behind and he just wasn’t right. There was nothing obvious but he just wasn’t happy and raced like he wasn’t happy.”

Noblet saw glimmers of what the galloper can achieve in the first-up run at the Valley where his winning chances were hampered when he got caught up in a vital stage of the race.

“If he’d had a little bit of luck, he probably would have won,” he said.

Returning to Flemington for the first time since mid-March when fourth in the Listed Super Saturday Stakes (1400m) behind Amorino could be the key to success with Sistine Demon enjoying the straight when fifth, beaten only three lengths by superstar Chautauqua at the track last September in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m).

After being ridden by Dwayne Dunn for his first run of the summer, Sistine Demon will have Steven Arnold aboard for the first time this weekend.

All going well and the horse will continue down the summer racing black-type path in Melbourne over the coming weeks including a possible run on New Year’s Day in Flemington’s $150,000 Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m).

“In January, there are a couple of races for him here (Caulfield) but we just wanted to space his runs,” Noblet said.

“After Saturday, he’ll probably run in the Christmas Stakes or the Standish (Handicap) on New Year’s Day.

“He’s a gelding so we’ll just poke him along from there.”

The $120,000 Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) runs at Caulfield Racecourse on Boxing Day, December 26, and could prove an easier target than the Standish Handicap.

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