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Trainer Ricky Maund has opted for claiming apprentice Ashley Thompson to offset the topweight of diminutive sprinter General Truce at Caulfield on Saturday.

The Brief Truce three-year-old will carry 56kg after Thompson takes his three-kilo allowance in the Moorabbin Steel Plate (1000m).

“We went for the claim because he’s not that big,” Maund said.

“We haven’t used the kid before but he’s riding in good form.”

Thompson, apprenticed to his mother Jodie Thompson who trains at Kilmore, will be after his fifth metropolitan win having ridden two winners in Adelaide and two in Melbourne, You I Find at Sandown on March 30 and Produced at Moonee Valley on April 2.

General Truce won his first two starts, in a Bendigo two-year-old maiden (900m) and the Group Three Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at Flemington, during the spring of 2009.

Although he hasn’t won in 13 starts since, he has raced consistently almost exclusively in Group and stakes class.

The gelding has been placed in three Group Two races including a 3-1/2 length third to champion Black Caviar in the Schillaci Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield last spring.

At his latest outing he finished third to Shrapnel in the Yallambee Classic (1200m) at Morphettville on March 14.

He hasn’t quite measured up in three tries at the highest level, finishing 13th and eighth to Star Witness in the 2010 Blue Diamond Stakes and Coolmore Stud Stakes respectively and eighth to Eagle Falls in the 2011 Oakleigh Plate.

Saturday’s sprint is only General Truce’s third outing in a non-black type event but Maund was surprised at how strong the race was.

“This is a good-class race, very strong for this time of the year,” he said.

“He’s going good and they’ll know that he’s there. We’ll see how he gets through this run and then we’ll look further on from there.

“To be honest he’s not at that top, top level. He’s probably three lengths off being a real good horse and his size comes into it because he sort of struggles at set weights against the better-class ones.

“And he was going to struggle with the 59kg on Saturday, so we just have to be very careful where we place him.

“But I’m pretty happy with him I can tell you.”

The Peter Moody-trained filly Curtana is $3 favourite with TAB Sportsbet ahead of Black Caviar’s brother Moshe at $3.20, Breitling and Spurcific at $5.50 with General Truce at $6.50.


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