With a series of races on the table for Mossman Gorge, Canberra trainer Matthew Dale is waiting to decide whether to run the colt in a small field on his home track or raise his sights to a stakes race in Sydney or Melbourne.
Saturday’s Listed Hinchinbrook Plate (1100m) at Randwick is one of three options for Mossman Gorge along with the Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on the same day.
“We’re just weighing it all up but he will run this weekend,” Dale said.
“He’s got to run this week because it’ll be make my decision whether he then runs in the Inglis Classic a week later or I wait until the Lightning Ridge Inglis bonus race at Canberra.”
After that Mossman Gorge could get his chance in the Group Three Black Opal Stakes at Canberra on March 5.
He won his first start by five lengths in a four-horse field at Canberra on January 20 and is one of four nominated for a two-year-old handicap at the same track on Friday.
“I would like to see him in a little bit more pressured environment if he was then going to tackle a race like the Inglis Classic or a Black Opal,” Dale said.
Mossman Gorge was a $90,000 yearling and Dale has been pleased with the youngster’s progression as a two-year-old.
“He’s a nice colt and he does everything right,” Dale said.
“He’s got and a really good constitution.”
After he led all the way on debut, Dale is keen to capitalise on Mossman Gorge’s natural early speed.
“He’s shown good tactical speed every time we’ve put him out of the barriers,” Dale said.
“I’d imagine from what we can gather so far with a two-year-old with natural speed you would use it but he can certainly take a drop as well.”
Recent Highway Handicap winner Super Star Bob is likely to get his chance to win two of the races for country-trained horses in as many weeks as he heads towards the Canberra Guineas.
Stable star Fell Swoop is set to trial at Canberra on Friday and will resume in either the Lightning Stakes or the Oakleigh Plate, a race where he picked up the first of his four Group One placings last year.