Tactics used with success on Direct Charge in the most prestigious two-year-old race of the Melbourne spring carnival will be the key to the colt’s chances in the $250,000 Inglis Classic on Saturday.
Direct Charge blotted an otherwise promising start to his racing career when he finished unplaced at his first Sydney run.
But trainer Robbie Laing agreed there were extenuating circumstances for the defeat and he expects the version of the horse which won the Maribyrnong Plate at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup carnival to turn up at Rosehill.
“We prepared him pretty well to win at Warwick Farm,” Laing said.
“But he bombed the start and came to the turn eight to ten lengths from the lead and then when he started to make ground at the 250 (metres) he got spun sideways.
“Everything was completely foreign to him.”
By Charge Forward, Direct Charge will line up as the dearest yearling in a race restricted to horses that went through the ring at last year’s Inglis Classic Sale in Sydney.
In four starts Direct Charge has returned $105,000 in stakes, the exact amount he sold for 12 months ago.
“He won the Maribyrnong Plate when ridden for pure speed,” Laing said.
“(Because) he is a big, strong fella that’s probably the way he has to be ridden.
“If he is he will put the foot down on the corner and hopefully he’ll be very hard to hold out.”
Last year’s Inglis Classic-winning jockey Glyn Schofield takes over from Steven Arnold.
Stewards have allowed Corey Brown to be declared on two Classic acceptors because of a shortage of riders.
Brown was first booked for the emergency Everage and will be held to that mount if the horse makes the field.
But if the filly misses out, Brown will be free to ride the $26 chance Harry Hotspur.
Bjorn Baker, the Warwick farm trainer who has already struck two-year-old paydirt in Sydney this season, will saddle up the early favourite $3.10 Fuerza.
Fuerza ran second to Twilight Royale in the Inglis Nursery last month as Baker trained the quinella.
High temperatures hit Sydney’s west on Friday but Rosehill racecourse staff, working on a forecast for a late storm, were reluctant to water a track which is rated in the good range.
“We are mindful of a storm and we’ll monitor that but if we need to put a mil or two (of irrigation) on we certainly will,” Rosehill track manager Chris Toogood said.