If Awesome Rock doesn’t draw well in the Easter Cup, trainer Leon Corstens says the entire could bypass the Group Three race.
Awesome Rock is also nominated for Saturday’s Neville Sellwood Stakes in Sydney but Corstens said the horse would be staying in Melbourne for the Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield.
“(But) if we draw really wide, I don’t want to be giving him a gut-buster,” Corstens said.
“His main aim, really, is the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. So if he drew wide I think I’d just miss that then maybe see if I can get a good gallop in between races with him somewhere.”
Awesome Rock was first past the post in the Group One Australian Cup last start at Flemington but lost the race on protest to Preferment for shifting out in the straight.
“I think he’s improved,” Corstens said.
“The Australian Cup was only his third run of the preparation.”
Awesome Rock is the highest-weighted horse in the 22 Easter Cup nominations with 59kg.
Acceptances are taken on Wednesday.
The Caulfield meeting features two Group Three races with the other being the Victoria Handicap (1400m) which the Corstens team have last start Flemington winner Tried And Tired and Zebrinz heading to.
Tried And Tired broke through for his first win since the 2014 Christmas Stakes when he took out a Listed event over 1400m at Flemington last Saturday week.
“He really deserved it,” Corstens said.
Zebrinz also pleased Corstens with his performance when a close fourth to Red Bomber in the Group Three TAB Rewards Stakes at Flemington last start on March 5.
“He came from a long way back and I thought he did a good job,” he said.
Group One winner Stratum Star heads the weights for the Victoria Handicap with 60kg.