The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Cranbourne trainer Michael Kent is hoping a drop in weight and step-up in distance can get his Group 1 performed stallion Charlevoix back in form for Saturday’s Ballarat Cup 2016 test.
The four-year-old son of New Approach is one of 28 official nominations taken for the $300,000 Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) this season.
He is only lightly-raced and will have just his seventh career start lining up in the Ballarat Cup field.
The step up to 2200m should suit the proven young stayer however as Charlevoix has winning form over the mile and a half at Sandown from April.
He defeated Cool Chap in the Listed Galilee Final (2400m) in the autumn before finishing fifth to Howard Be Thy Name in the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) in mid-May.
In his first run since Charlevoix raced at Caulfield on October 12 over 1400m finishing 12th over the unsuitable distance.
The galloper should eat-up the extra meters in the Ballarat Cup, but is rising back up in class for the lucrative handicap showdown.
Originally Kent was eyeing a Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) run last weekend at Ladbrokes Park for his horse, but a slight setback saw him saved for Ballarat’s feature race.
“He did miss a run there at Moonee Valley one night and I was going to the Sandown Classic from there, but he had a bit of a high white cell count,” Kent told Racing Victoria.
“He’s good now and has worked well since and it doesn’t look an overly strong race on Saturday so I’m pretty hopeful he’ll run well.”
First-up Charlevoix carried 55kg and he gets in on the minimum 54kg for Saturday.
Kent is looking further ahead to the autumn already with Charlevoix who he has targeting the $300,000 Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) on March 25, 2017.
All going to plan and he would target top level staying races later during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival and into the spring.
One of the headline Ballarat Cup nominations taken this year is last weekend’s Group 3 Eclipse Stakes winner at Sandown Turnitaround.
A six-year-old son of Hard Spun Turnitaround will be on the quick back-up and chasing his first win over further than 2000m if accepted, which his Warrnambool-based trainer Matthew Williams said was likely.
“At this stage we’re planning to go that way,” Williams said.
“There’s actually not a lot of options for him with his rating getting up now. It’s either that or go to the paddock, really.”
While happy with how the horse pulled through last Saturday’s win, Williams said the Ballarat Cup distance would be the test.
“He’s been down to the beach and had a couple of light days there but he’s come through Saturday’s run really well,” Williams said.
“He might have a little gallop later in the week.
“He’s had the three runs under his belt but the only thing I’d possibly prefer is for the race to be 2000 metres rather than 2200.
“If he settles the way he did on Saturday I don’t think the trip is a problem for him, but having one more run under his belt before going to 2200 might have been ideal.”
Stay tuned for the official Ballarat Cup 2016 field and barriers out on Wednesday followed by markets at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).
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