Last-start Christmas Cup winner Danger Close is in line to complete a festive season double when he runs at Sandown.
Trainer Jason Warren will study the nominations and weights for Friday’s Listed Christmas Stakes but is planning to run the sprinter in the 1200m sprint.
Craig Newitt has formed a successful combination with Danger Close, riding the gelding to four wins and two placings from six rides this year including his Listed win on December 6.
With Newitt now in Singapore and Ben Melham also unavailable, Warren has booked Nick Hall to partner Danger Close.
Warren believes the key to Danger Close is for him to be ridden quietly early and saved for one finishing sprint.
“Nick is good with the whip in the left hand. He’s a cool rider that can ride a nice patient race on him,” Warren said.
“So I think Nick will suit him.”
Five of Danger Close’s six wins have been in 1000m races including his four victories from his eight starts in 2014.
He finished strongly to win the Christmas Cup (1000m) by a short neck from Mr Make Believe.
“He’s been a great horse for the stable once we worked out all his little quirks, the right way to ride him and the distances to run him in, mostly 1000 metres,” Warren said.
“I don’t think 1200 metres should be a problem because he’s rock-hard fit so we’ll try him over it and assess the horse from there.
“I think his race pattern will be fine to get 1200 now. I wouldn’t like to be going to 1200 first or second-up, but now he’s third-up I think it will be fine.”
Nominations for the $120,000 race include the Peter Moody-trained stakes winner Ready To Rip.
Robbie Laing has four entries including Lord Of The Sky while premier trainer Darren Weir has entered Anlon.
The winner of the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes in January, Anlon hasn’t started since his unplaced run at Flemington in June.