Lightly raced three-year-old Deep Force will be given his chance to bounce back from a shock last-start defeat and showcase his talent at stakes level at The Valley.
Deep Force was taken to The Valley for a gallop on Tuesday morning in preparation for Saturday’s Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m) for three-year-old colts and geldings.
The Tony McEvoy-trained gelding was a convincing all-the-way winner at Morphettville on debut late last month before being sent out the $1.28 favourite at Murray Bridge in a 1200m benchmark 70 against his own age on August 10.
His stablemate Silent Sovereign caused an upset with Deep Force finishing third.
“He trialled up really well before his debut,” McEvoy’s Melbourne stable foreman, Michael Shepherdson, said.
“He was quite impressive in a jump-out in Melbourne then went to Murray Bridge and trialled just as impressively.
“His win on debut at Morphettville was super and then he was a bit disappointing second-up at Murray Bridge.
“We’re not quite sure why. It could turn out to be a good form race, but we definitely thought he would go much better.
“Tony just decided to put him on the float and give him the trip over here.
“It was a bit of a head-scratching run at Murray Bridge and we’ve just got to trust him into Saturday.
“He has shown that sort of talent.”
Shepherdson believes the Valley experience on Tuesday will be valuable for Deep Force.
“He just cruised around,” he said.
“They were out quite wide so he had a good look around.
“He galloped with I Am, who is in the fillies’ 1200-metre race on Saturday, and she was quite sharp around there and probably handled it a little bit better than him.
“But he’s a big horse so just having that experience around the track is going to do him the world of good.”
Deep Force was one of a host of three-year-olds nominated for the McKenzie to gallop at the course on Tuesday.