Adelaide trainer Will Clarken is prepared to hitch up the float and head across the border to Caulfield for Easter rather than stay closer to home and race at Oakbank.
Providing they draw well, Steel Frost will run in Saturday’s Group Three Victoria Handicap (1400m) with Savatag to contest an 1800m-benchmark 84 race.
The pair has been nominated for races at Oakbank on Saturday but Clarken conceded the uniqueness of the layout made a trip to Caulfield the preferred option for the pair.
Clarken has a healthy opinion of Steel Frost, a dual winner over 1400m at Caulfield, and the winner of the Listed City Of Marion Stakes at Morphettville in December.
Steel Frost has had one run following a spell, which Clarken described as below par, but the gelding has since won a barrier trial at Morphettville.
“I thought he could have gone a little bit better but the track was quite hard and he raced a little bit fresh,” Clarken said.
“He likes Caulfield and a hard-run 1400 metres.
“I still feel he’s one run off his absolute best but he’s ready to run a really good race.”
Clarken said another reason for border hopping was to test the gelding at a higher level than the Oakbank Stakes (1100m).
“I can always go back to that race (at Oakbank) next year where at the moment we’re concentrating on seeing if he can go to a bit better level,” Clarken said.
A former New Zealander, Savatag is unbeaten in three starts since joining Clarken’s stable.
The gelding has also been nominated for the Oakbank Cup (2150m) and Clarken said he is using the trip away to toughen the gelding.
“The trip will season him up,” Clarken said.
“He’s a nice horse on the way up and has a great racing pattern where he puts himself on the speed and makes his own luck.”
Todd Pannell, who has partnered the two in their most recent assignments, has the mounts on Saturday.