Adelaide trainer Nick Smart is eyeing a move to Victoria and hopes the Flemington performance of Docker Pav can help facilitate the plan.
Smart is looking at the start of the new racing season to make the shift to Ballarat and victory by Docker Pav in the Henry Bolte Handicap (2000m) on Saturday could open up a few more offers.
“I’m going to look at some stables this weekend,” Smart said.
“I’ve met with the Ballarat Turf Club and they’ve said they’ll build me some new stables but that won’t happen for 12 months.
“I didn’t want to wait that long to make the move so I’ll find some existing ones to move into in the meantime.”
Three-year-old Docker Pav, named after former AFL star Matthew Pavlich, has had four starts, winning twice at Balaklava and comes off a last-start fourth against older horses in the Port Adelaide Cup at Morphettville on May 20.
Smart said it wasn’t his intention to take on the older stayers last time.
He had his eyes set on the Group One South Australian Derby the previous week, but Docker Pav was pulled out after rearing up and getting a leg caught.
“That was bloody disappointing,” Smart said.
Smart said a lack of suitable races in South Australia had brought him to Flemington.
While three of his four races have been at 2200m or further, Smart is confident Docker Pav won’t be affected by the drop to 2000m.
“We could run him here against the older horses for half the prize money or go across the border and run against the three-year-olds for double the money,” Smart said.
“He’s quite a natural athletic sort of stayer and I didn’t mess around too much with him over the shorter trips as I wanted to get him up to an ideal trip as quick as I could and coming back to the 2000 metres is no worries.
“We’ll settle out the back and he can run good sectionals at the end of his races.”