Co-trainer Terry O’Sullivan is hoping a step up in distance and a training session over hurdles will help Patch Adams make his presence felt in his return to city racing.
Patch Adams has raced in country Cups in Victoria in his past two starts, finishing third in the Horsham Cup (1800m) before running second in the Donald Cup (1600m).
He heads to Moonee Valley on Saturday for the 1PRINT Handicap (2040m) and O’Sullivan believes Patch Adams is right in the race as long as he runs up to his best.
“He’s been racing well,” O’Sullivan said.
“We thought he might have been a little bit stiff at Horsham. He got held up but the winner (Magic Consol) was strong.
“Then the other day at Donald I thought he had the leader (Wheatsheaf Flyer) all the way but he just couldn’t nail it. The other horse just kept kicking but I felt he raced liked he was really looking for 2000 metres.
“So we thought this Moonee Valley race looked a nice race and we’re pretty pleased to have drawn barrier four as well.
“Hopefully he’ll be one of the chances.”
O’Sullivan said leading jumps rider Tom Ryan schooled Patch Adams over hurdles on Wednesday.
“We’re hoping that will sharpen him up a little bit as well,” O’Sullivan said.
“We do it pretty regularly but I don’t think he’s schooled before.”
Patch Adams will be ridden by Linda Meech who is leading the Victorian jockeys’ premiership with 46 winners already this season.
O’Sullivan has another Cup race on the radar for Patch Adams depending on the four-year-old’s performance on Saturday.
“If we could win on Saturday I’d look seriously at the Werribee Cup,” he said.
The $100,000 Werribee Cup (2000m) is on December 11.
Patch Adams has been installed at $8.50 with the Darren Weir-trained High Church and Chris Waller-trained Hipparchus joint favourites at $5.
Former Irish horse Little White Cloud, who won his Australian debut at Flemington recently after more than three years between races, is at $5.50.