A number of the top-fancied mares to take out...
Despite featuring only as an emergency on the ballot, trainer Darren Weir is still hopeful six-year old gelding Yogi can gain a start in the $150,000 Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
With time quickly running out though, it appears more likely the New Zealand import will instead head to the Tokyo City Cup (1800m) at Morphettville on the same day.
After fellow stablemates Land of Plenty and Peaceful State drew wide barriers in the $500,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m), the news of Yogi’s misfortune caps off a disappointing week for the stable.
A win in the Naturalism would have guaranteed Yogi a ballot exemption in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2040m) next month, and after an encouraging year of racing, it’s certainly not the direction Weir was hoping for this Spring.
“He’s going great, he was always too far out of his ground and wouldn’t travel up in races, ideally we’d like to get him into the Naturalism,” Weir told RSN’s Racing Pulse on Friday.
“But the Bart Cummings is probably the race for him. If he’s looking like he’s not getting a run, we need to race him, so he’ll probably go to Adelaide.”
Entering as the $3.50 second-elect alongside stablemate Sopressa at Ladbrokes.com.au, Yogi hopes to improve on his last start at Moonee Valley that saw him run second behind Trap For Fools over 2040m.
That marked Yogi’s second consecutive runner-up finish after winning the Adelaide Cup (2500m) back in May, a strong run of form that has pleased Weir so far.
“The downside to Yogi is his racing style. It’s terrible. He gets back and you need a lot of luck,” Weir told Racing.com earlier this month.
“He’s certainly going better – he’s probably going the best he’s ever gone. The further he goes the better he’ll be too and any give in the ground will be a plus for him.”
The Kiwi born stayer has drawn the rail on Saturday, an ideal position after running the fastest final 200m of the race at The Valley three weeks ago.
Jockey Noel Callow will need every bit of that speed if he wishes to keep up with $3.30 favourite Moss ‘N’ Dale down the straight.
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