A drop in distance is the only query trainer Mick Tubman has as he prepares Merlin Mustang for his final start of the summer on Saturday.
Merlin Mustang turned in a pleasing effort last time out when fifth in the Group Two Villiers (1600m) after racing on the speed and hitting the front rounding the home turn.
He will line up in the Tab.com.au Handicap (1400m) before going for a freshen-up.
“He’s going back in distance which is the only concern but he’s drawn well in barrier one which I think will offset that,” Tubman said.
“There’s not much else around for him at the moment so he’ll have this run and then he’ll have a couple of weeks off.
“We’ll look at either the autumn or the winter in Brisbane but there’s no fixed plan at this stage.”
The Warwick Farm race features the return of the Gai Waterhouse-trained Tullamore who hasn’t raced since the Theo Marks Stakes in September.
The Chris Waller-trained Group winner Foreteller, who has not start since finishing unplaced in the Doomben Cup in May, is one of four entries for the premier trainer including Thumbtacks who was a luckless runner in the Villiers.
Merlin Mustang was beaten less than 1-1/2 lengths in the Villiers after sitting just off leader Holy Moly during the run and taking over as they approached the home turn.
He was still there at the 100m mark before being collared late on.
“I thought it was a super run. Holy Moly just took him out of his comfort zone though,” Tubman said.
“He pulled up well from the run and I’m quietly confident going into Saturday.
“He’s as good as I can get him, that won’t be an issue. So if he’s good enough, he’ll win.”
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