After three consecutive second placings, Confluence is chasing his maiden win at Flemington and his co-trainer Simon Zahra is confident it can be his day.
The three-year-old has been runner-up at Echuca, Bendigo and Caulfield at his past three starts and contests Saturday’s VRC Member Raymond Ali Handicap.
Zahra, who trains in partnership with Mathew Ellerton, says Confluence has strong claims in the 1400m race following the scratching of Aljawzaa.
Confluence was beaten by Shamport in the $150,000 VOBIS Gold Ingot at Caulfield on July 29, one of only four races run before strong winds forced the the final five races to be called off.
“It was a good run the other day after racing into a hurricane,” Zahra said.
“He still does a bit wrong when put under pressure but every run he’s got better and better.
“With the favourite (Aljawzaa) out he looks to have a pretty good chance.”
Zahra said Confluence would be ridden forward while the stable had resisted the temptation to add gear for Saturday’s race.
“He creates his own luck by putting himself in the running and then lets down really well,” Zahra said.
“I think natural improvement is going to help him.”
The stable will also saddle Sir Sagamore in the VRC Member Joan Watson Handicap (1400m) and Rough Justice in the VRC Member Charles White Handicap (1000m).
Zahra said Sir Sagamore would be competitive having finally drawn a good barrier while Rough Justice would appreciate a drop back in distance.
“At 1200 metres he goes too hard in himself and cuts his breathing off,” Zahra said.
“Over 1000, going that little bit quicker, it helps him breathe a bit better and his best run for the campaign was at the 1000 up the straight.”