Maribyrnong Plate winner Direct Charge will get valuable Sydney race experience on Saturday ahead of a tilt at the lucrative Inglis Classic.
Victorian trainer Robbie Laing has selected Saturday’s TAB Number One Club Plate (1000m) at Warwick Farm as colt’s lead-in to the $250,000 Inglis Classic at Rosehill two weeks later.
The Inglis Classic is restricted to horses sold at the Classic Sale in Sydney last year.
Laing bid on only one horse at the sale and secured Direct Charge for $105,000.
“I decided he was the best colt in the sale,” Laing said.
“He was the only one I wanted and the only one I bid on.”
Direct Charge raced three times in Melbourne during the spring carnival, capping his first preparation with victory in the Group Three Maribyrnong Plate at Flemington.
Laing has his sights set on the Inglis Classic and says he is unlikely to aim at the Blue Diamond in Melbourne or Golden Slipper in Sydney.
“We’ll probably cool our heels for a bit after the Inglis Classic and go back to Melbourne for the Sires’ Produce Stakes (at Flemington),” Laing said.
“Then he might go back to Sydney late in the carnival for the Champagne Stakes.”
Direct Charge has been prepared for his Sydney debut with regular workouts in the clockwise direction at Cranbourne.
Only one of his three starts in Melbourne has been around a bend with two down the straight at Flemington.
“They’ve been really co-operative at Cranbourne and he’s probably worked five mornings in the Sydney direction,” Laing said.
“This morning was no exception. He did his last bit of fast work this morning.
“We used the back straight as the home straight and he was very impressive in his work.”
A full field of 12 plus four emergencies was declared on Wednesday for the Warwick Farm race and will also feature last start Inglis Nursery winner Twilight Royale as well as a host of first starters.
Laing believes Direct Charge is in the right condition for his return.
“He’s probably how you would want him for 1000 metres,” Laing said.
“He’s got a bit of trimming to do but he’s very fresh. He’ll jump and run hard.”