Black Piranha is still three weeks away from his return but trainer Con Karakatsanis believes he is on target for his shot at Stradbroke history.
The seven-year-old will try to become the first horse to win Brisbane’s richest race three times after becoming just the seventh to win the $1 million Stradbroke back-to-back last June.
Black Piranha went around in a barrier trial at Rosehill last week in his first public appearance since his unplaced runs in Perth in November.
The seven-year-old will have to face champion mare Black Caviar in his BTC Cup return next month, but it’s his third-up mission that is the trainer’s focus.
“He had an easy trial on Tuesday and he went around lovely,” Karakatsanis said.
“Brenton Avdulla rode him and said he felt great and he loved it. He’s still a fair way off being where I want him because it’s still three weeks away from his first-up run in Brisbane, but he showed to me he is on his way to where I want him to be.
“Since that trial on Tuesday he’s starting to switch on and it won’t take much to get him back where I want him fitness wise.”
Black Caviar’s next run is set to be the Group One BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben where she will look to stretch her unbeaten run to 13 including six in a row at Group One level.
The wonder mare is also a chance to run in the Group One Doomben 10,000 (1350m) two weeks later, with both races at weight-for-age.
Black Piranha is set to run in the two weight-for-age races with his grand final to come in the Stradbroke (1400m) third-up at Eagle Farm.
“He’s on target,” Karakatsanis said.
“He’s probably going to have to run into Black Caviar in Brisbane but that’s life.
“Our aim is the Straddy. If she beats him first-up and in the 10,000, that’s life. The Straddy is the one we want.”