Win, lose or draw in a heat of the All Victorian Sprint Series, Ashlor won’t be fronting up for the final when it’s conducted at Flemington.
But it won’t stop trainer Dan McCarthy racing for $100,000 in the fourth heat of the series at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Three of the worst runs in Ashlor’s 15-start career have been on the straight course at Flemington, home of July’s 1200m final.
McCarthy could still be at Flemington for finals day when he could run Ashlor in the VRC – CRV Winter Championship over 1600m.
Plans will become clearer after Ashlor runs on Saturday.
“There’s another race at Moonee Valley in a fortnight or we may back up in the Golden Topaz at Swan Hill or even try him at 1400 metres at Flemington the next day around a corner,” McCarthy said.
“It’s whether we want to string him out in distance and have a look at him over a bit more ground or whether we stick to shorter races.
“There’s still four or five more runs in him the way he’s going at the moment.”
McCarthy was planning a Goodwood start for Ashlor with a potential trip to Brisbane for the 2018 Stradbroke Handicap to follow, but that has been ruled out.
Along with his dislike for the Flemington straight, McCarthy doesn’t believe Ashlor as effective racing right-handed, even though he finished third in the Town Plate at Wagga Wagga earlier this month.
“I wasn’t entirely happy at Wagga with the way he raced in that direction,” McCarthy said.
“He seems to push off our turns really well and seems more comfortable the Victorian way of going, and around a corner.”
With a rating of 90 in a benchmark 90 handicap, Ashlor carries 60kg on Saturday.
He is a proven weight carrier lumping 62kg to victory at Sandown last year.
“He was pulling away from them on the line that day and there was some pretty handy horses in that race,” McCarthy said.
“I’m still tossing up whether to claim on him or ask him to carry the full weight.”