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The Lindsay Park stable have confirmed autumn plans to target the 2017 Oakleigh Plate on Blue Diamond Stakes Day second-up with Faatinah.
A progressive four-year-old son of Nicconi, Faatinah was last seen running fifth behind Lucky Hussler at Sandown on November 12 in the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m).
That followed a strong spring that also included a Group 2 Bobbie Lewis (1200m) win down the Flemington straight in September and a second to Our Boy Malachi in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1000m) in October.
A first-up flyer, Faatinah has won all three of his resuming runs to date and that’s a record co-trainer Tom Dabernig hopes the gelding can add to when he kicks things off this prep on February 4.
“He won his trial on the bit, his trial was good and says he is ready to go next week,” Dabernig told Racing Victoria.
“He has put on condition this preparation, he is not your typical shape of a sprinter, he is tall and lean but he is eating his head off and doing really well in the stables.”
Caulfield’s $120,000 Listed W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m) is scheduled for the dual Group 2 winner’s return with bigger things to come second-up this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
Faatinah, who was one of a host of autumn hopefuls that trialled at Flemington on Friday morning for Lindsay Park, broke through in Group 2 class for the first time last May winning the Group 2 Euclase Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville.
He remained in Adelaide next-up and had his sole Group 1 start to date finishing a credible fifth beaten only two and three-quarter lengths by the winner Black Heart Bart as a $41 roughie in The Goodwood (1200m).
He will get a chance to prove his elite level potential again on February 25 at Caulfield running in the $500,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m).
Fellow co-trainer David Hayes enjoyed an Oakleigh Plate victory in 2011 with 20/1 roughie Eagle Falls.
The last Oakleigh Plate winner to come off a lead-up run in the W.J. Adams Stakes meanwhile was the mare Shamal Wind (2015) who completed the double when the first leg took place on Australia Day at Sandown.
Hayes & Dabernig also have the Oakleigh Plate target set for stablemate Sheidel.
The five-year-old Holy Roman Emperor mare was last seen finishing a brave second only a neck off the winner Takedown in Perth’s Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in late November.
That followed her fifth to Malaguerra in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day and back-to-back Group 3 sprint wins from October.
“She looks a picture and we are really pleased with the trial, it should really bring her on,” Dabernig said.
“She will trial again next week, kick off at Caulfield on February 11 in the Rubiton and then that is two weeks to the Oakleigh Plate.
“Following that, we may possibly look at Adelaide for the Robert Sangster.”
The $200,000 Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) is scheduled for CF Orr Stakes Day on February 11, while the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) runs at Morphettville on May 6.
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