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Image: Bruno Cannatelli
Irish Butterfly is expected to appreciate the rise in trip when he heads out at Flemington.

The early part of the New Year is invariably about getting two-year-olds ready for the upcoming Group 1 races like the Blue Diamond Stakes and Golden Slipper.

But it is also the time when trainers put in the work of getting their jumpers ready for upcoming season with the Warrnambool Carnival just over three months away.

While yet to race over jumps, trainer Henry Dwyer has a jumps campaign in the back of his mind for Irish Butterfly who is likely to be targeted at one of the maiden hurdles over the three-day carnival.

But first there are some flat races to win, and Dwyer has Irish Butterfly down to run in the VRC Life Member Robert Lane Trophy (2520m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Irish Butterfly won three races over a trip last year, including two at Sandown, as was one of the favourites for last year’s Warrnambool Cup.

After two runs this time in over unsuitable trips, Dwyer is expecting Saturday’s 2520m to suit.

“He’s ready,” Dwyer said.

“He needed it first-up over 2000 metres and then ran well when dropped back in trip at Warrnambool.

“He was one-paced there, but now up to 2500 metres, he should be fit enough this time.

“It’s a nice drop back in grade to a benchmark race this time and Celine Gaudray rides him well.”

In-form apprentice Celine Gaudray, who rode Irish Butterfly to successive wins at Sandown last year, returns to the saddle for the first time since then Warrnambool Cup in May.

Dwyer said Irish Butterfly had schooled over hurdles last year but will rely on flat racing to get him to peak fitness ahead of the jumps season.

“We’ll probably just poke around with him during the autumn, and I’d say he’ll probably end up in a maiden hurdle at Warrnambool,” Dwyer said.

“If he could pick up a race or two along the way, that would be good.

“He had a couple of trials last year, so he’ll be ready to go over the jumps when the time comes.”

Dwyer won’t be at Flemington on Saturday, instead heading to King Island to join a number of fellow Ballarat trainers for the second running of the Miners Rest Cup (1400m) on Saturday.

While not listed as the trainer of Mayoral Privileges , Dwyer holds an interest in the gelding who was dispatched to King Island 12 months ago.

Mayoral Privileges was not the intended runner Dwyer had sourced to race in his colours on Saturday.

“The horse I had down there for the Miners Rest Cup got crook, so we needed a replacement, so we subbed this bloke in,” Dwyer said.

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