Underwood Stakes favourite Contributer has continued preparations for his first Group One start of the spring with a solo gallop at Moonee Valley.
Godolphin trainer John O’Shea took the opportunity to send Contributer to the home of the Cox Plate on Tuesday morning and Melbourne stable foreman David Charles was pleased with the dual Group One winner’s workout.
Contributer was displaced as Cox Plate favourite after he finished fifth in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley first-up.
O’Shea added Saturday’s Underwood Stakes at Caulfield to Contributer’s spring program which has next month’s $3 million Cox Plate as the ultimate target.
Contributer ventured to Bendigo for an exhibition gallop last Thursday and Charles was happy with what he saw on Tuesday morning leading into the horse’s second-up start in the Underwood (1800m).
The multiple weight-for-age winner during the Sydney autumn carnival was clocked to run his last 400m in 24.39 seconds.
“It’s well documented he went to Bendigo last week, John was there and was very happy with his work there and he’s come on since that gallop,” Charles said.
“We brought him here this morning and we’re very happy.”
Contributer is the $3.80 favourite in early betting for the Underwood Stakes with Fawkner at $4.
Acceptances for the weight-for-age race are taken on Wednesday.
“We’re expecting him to run very well,” Charles said.
Contributer has raced at Caulfield before, announcing his arrival on the local scene with victory in the Group Three Coongy Handicap last spring.
Godolphin’s No.1 jockey James McDonald will ride Contributer on Saturday, having been required in Sydney when the horse ran fifth in the Dato.