Weather and weight will determine if last start Group winner Bello makes his Melbourne debut at Sandown on Saturday.
The Peter Snowden-trained Group Three Newcastle Newmarket winner is down to run in the $100,000 Sportingbet Handicap (1200m) with Darley to decide on Thursday whether he takes his place.
“We’ll have a look at it in the next 24 hours, whether he comes or not,” Darley’s Melbourne stable foreman Paul Snowden said.
“He’s still in Sydney and if he does run he won’t travel down until Thursday night. We’ll just see what the weather does and see how he measures up with the 60 kilos.”
Bello won three of his six starts during his most recent preparation, culminating in his first stakes success in the Newmarket in March.
He hasn’t raced for 10 weeks but was second to Arinosa in a recent Rosehill barrier trial.
“He’s beaten and met better horses than what he’s in against on Saturday, I feel, but he’s got a lot of weight to contend with,” Snowden said.
“He’s also never been to Melbourne before but I don’t think that would worry him.”
Vlad Duric is booked to ride Bello in a field that includes stakes winner Amaethon and last start Caulfield winner Pago Rock.
Bello is one of four Sandown entries from the Snowden stable including two-year-old Boer who’ll be chasing his first win in the Samson Handicap (1200m).
Boer finished second to Pyrrolic as favourite in a midweek race at Sandown on May 15 but Snowden felt the colt was caught flat-footed when the field sprinted and didn’t get out from behind the lead soon enough to mount a challenge.
“Hopefully he can work into the race a bit better than the other day and if he does that I think he’ll be hard to beat,” Snowden said.
Coins returns to Melbourne for a 1600m event for three-year-olds after contesting a Listed race in Adelaide at her most recent start.
Stablemate Forget is in the same race and the gelding is racing to save his spot in the Darley team.
“He’s on his last chance,” Snowden said.
Forget is entered to be sold at the Gold Coast on Friday week.