Scone trainer Brett Cavanough has a handful of horses in his stable earmarked for a potential Queensland carnival tilt, with Fender set to be the first to test the waters when he runs at Doomben on Saturday.
Fender takes on brilliant first up winner Amiche in the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1200m), following a solid recent barrier trial hit out on his home track.
The Cavanough stable also has Pinnacle Prince an acceptor for the Doomben meeting, but after he drew the outside barrier, is likely to stay at home and be saved for Hawkesbury next Wednesday.
Fender bypassed the Country Championships in Sydney, with Cavanough just running short on time, which means he now resumes at Doomben before a likely tilt on the Wagga Town Plate.
“We would love to win a good race in Queensland with him,” Cavanough said.
“So we will come back for the Wagga Town Plate and then try and work our way back up there.
“He’s had a six furlong (1200m) trial and there should be no excuses. He’s ready to go.
“He’s a funny horse to train and a bit hard to assess. He’s not big, but a good little galloper.”
Fender won his first four starts before being thrown in the deep end in a Group 2 race behind Wild Planet and Funstar, where he finished 2.7 lengths away.
He then finished seventh in The Kosciuszko behind stablemate It’s Me and was over the top when he ran on a Heavy track subsequent to that.
Fender will lead Cavanough’s charge with older horses in Queensland, but the trainer feels he has a deep pool of three-year-olds that can also make their mark.
These include Pinnacle Prince and Street Power, who races at Muswellbrook on Friday.
“I think he could be my best horse. (Paul) Messara has one in the same race he has a big opinion of, so it might turn out to be a pretty strong race for a Friday at Muswellbrook,” Cavanough said.
“I’m hoping I’ve got four three-year-olds and maybe at least two two-year-olds I can bring to the Queensland carnival.
“With Pinnacle Prince, we’re trying to get to the Gold Coast Guineas and see just how good he is.”
Stable star It’s Me is still in rehabilitation, but Cavanough is hopeful he might see her back in the stable by June or July.