Archie Alexander admits he’ll learn a lot more about recent stable acquisition Amorino in the Group Three Standish Handicap.
But the first-season trainer is cautiously optimistic the stakes winner can make an immediate impact in his return to the east in Thursday’s straight-track sprint at Flemington.
Alexander was delighted to get the opportunity to train the five-year-old gelding who has done his recent racing in Western Australia with trainer Grant Williams.
Amorino is owned be Elio Galante, who has a share in the Alexander-trained Martinvast.
Alexander said Galante thought a country environment would suit Amorino when he decided to shift the horse from WA to Melbourne because there were more race options.
“It’s really good of Elio to give me a shot,” Alexander said.
“He could easily have gone for a higher profile trainer.”
Alexander enjoyed spring carnival success with import Renew who won the Listed Sandown Cup in November.
Amorino has raced in Melbourne once before having started out his career with Sydney trainer Gerald Ryan, but the Standish will be the gelding’s first start at Flemington.
“Like any trainer with a horse having its first start for you, you’re just a little bit in the dark,” Alexander said.
“But as far as the horse goes he’s looking well, he’s training well and he galloped well.
“I’ll be learning a lot and I guess we’ll be seeing whether we stick to 1200-metres or step him up.”
Steven Arnold, who rode Amorino twice earlier in his career including an unplaced finish in the 2012 Golden Slipper, takes the ride in the Standish which has attracted a field of 11.
Amorino finished seventh in the Group Three Scahill Stakes (1400m) at his most recent start in Perth and he was beaten just under three lengths when sixth in the Group One Railway Stakes (1600m) the start before.
Reparations, who won a stakes race on Melbourne Cup day at Flemington, has been installed favourite at $3.70 ahead of Christmas Stakes runner-up Lord Of The Sky ($4) while Amorino is a $15 chance.