There’s no plan B for six-year-old gelding Folding Gear as he goes into Saturday’s Group Three Naturalism Stakes at Caulfield where he needs a win to guarantee him a start in next month’s Caulfield Cup.
Folding Gear won the 2000m race last year to earn a start in the $2.5 million Caulfield Cup and co-trainer Shannon Hope is relying on him to do it again.
“His main goal is the Cup,” said Hope.
“That’s all we’ve got targeted this time in, and we’ll see what happens after Saturday.
“It’s not the end of the world if he doesn’t win.
“We still have a chance of making the field but at this stage we won’t be chasing anything else.”
Folding Gear, who’ll jump from barrier 17, hasn’t run since finishing unplaced in the Heatherlie Handicap at Caulfield on August 31.
Hope says the gelding, an $11 chance, is the type of horse who doesn’t need a lot of work.
“Our big concern is that no horse has won back-to-back Naturalisms, but I think that’s because no-one has been silly enough to try, that’s all,” said Hope.
The horse that ran second to Folding Gear last year, the Ciaron Maher-trained Mr O’Ceirin, has shown the lead-up form that could earn him a ballot-free entry into the Caulfield Cup with a Naturalism victory.
He won the Grafton Cup in July before running second behind the Peter Moody-trained Ibicenco, which is also in the Naturalism, in the Listed Slickpix Stakes at Caulfield three weeks ago.
Maher said Mr O’Ceirin was well placed in the race.
“He has trained on really well since his first-up run and the 2000 metres on Saturday is probably his ideal trip,” he said.