A race over a middle distance at Flemington is shaping as the fork in the road for Not A Single Cent.
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained three-year-old runs in Saturday’s UCI Stakes.
Not A Single Cent, a half brother to triple Group One winner Happy Clapper, looked to have an imposing career ahead of him after winning the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes at Flemington in the autumn.
He had two subsequent runs in Sydney, finishing out of the money both times.
Not A Single Cent has so far let his trainers down this campaign, finishing in the back half of the field in two runs, over 1200m at Caulfield and 1400m at Flemington.
Eustace said Saturday’s 1800m-race was “D-day” for Not A Single Cent’s preparation.
“He hasn’t been showing a turn of foot this preparation,” Eustace said.
“He won a Sires’ as a two-year-old and you would expect most of them would want some ground and that’s what he’s been showing in his work.
“And the results so far this spring suggest he’s not fast enough for a Guineas so whether he’ll stay, we’ll have to find out.”
Eustace says they will give Not A Single Cent that opportunity on Saturday with the potential to step up to the Victoria Derby 2018.
The stable elected to take Saturday’s easier rise in distance rather than head to Sydney for a shot at the Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick in which the stable will be represented by Visao.
Not A Single Cent opened $31 on Wednesday and is out to $34 following early backing for Darren Weir stablemates Savoie, $3.20 to $3 favourite, and Extra Brut, $7 into $5.50.