A physically stronger Age Of Chivalry will step out for the first time at The Valley as he embarks on a campaign towards rich spring handicaps.
The Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra-trained gelding runs in Saturday’s Four’N Twenty Handicap (1200m), his first outing since March.
A veteran of six starts which have yielded two wins, Age Of Chivalry was his own worst enemy during a four-start autumn campaign with waywardness costing him success in the Group Three C S Hayes Stakes at Flemington in February.
He was put away after one more start when he was again wayward when runner-up to subsequent Queensland Derby winner Mr Quickie in March.
“Last time he wanted to get his races over and done with and he wanted to lay in under pressure so hopefully he’s got rid of that trait,” Zahra said.
“He cost himself a few times so that’s why we didn’t press on.
“He’s carrying a lot more condition than he did so he’s maturing nicely.
“He’s never been to the Valley and he’s drawn in, so he’s going to need a bit of luck, but he’ll also improve quite a bit off the run.
“We’ll have to see where he’s at after a couple of runs.”
Zahra hopes to kick off on Saturday with a victory to get Age of Chivalry’s rating up from 76.
“You’ve got to go into the spring around the 90 mark,” Zahra said.
“At the moment he’s only won a midweek at Sandown, so he’s got a little way to go.”
Age Of Chivalry shares the top line of betting in Saturday’s race at $4.40 with first-up winner Tavisan.
The training partners will also be represented by Exceltara and Freeze Over in the Woodside Park Stallion Parade Handicap (1000m).
“Freeze Over races on the speed and her form at the Valley is quite good,” Zahra said.
“She seems a bit more mature now while Exceltara, he gets back and runs on and likes a bit of sting out, which he’ll get on Saturday.”