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Back in grade and over more ground to better suit Curran at Caulfield

Jockey Matthew Cartwright resumes his race day association with family favourite Curran but this time at over a distance less familiar to the four-year-old.

A noted sprinter, Curran returns to benchmark company after recent unplaced efforts listed level.

His latest outing delivered a seventh placing in the Listed Christmas Stakes over 1100 metres with Jarrod Fry aboard – the only run in the gelding’s 13 start career that Cartwright hadn’t been in the saddle.

This time in the Benchmark 84 Cameron Rose Handicap over 1400 metres, Cartwright says the step up in distance is the likely key to a return to the winners’ stall.

Winless in four starts since, Curran scorched the turf at Moonee Valley on 24 September winning over the 955 metre course in 54.6 seconds.

“He’s going well and the 1400 looks ideal,” Cartwright said.

“I think being in the hot pace of the 955 metre race first-up, he just got a bit dour after that and he was struggling to travel over the shorter distances.

“Since that he’s been outpaced over the shorter trips but finishing strong late and I think getting up to this distance, we’ve got a good gate, and there’s a bit of pace in the race and hopefully I can settle midfield and travel.

“So the time is right to step up in trip and if he runs it he should be going close.”

Curran is rated the $3.60 second favourite in the seventh event at Caulfield on Saturday and Cartwright noted that the horse has been running well but stepping slightly back to a benchmark grade race will suit.

“If he shows what he’s got he should be winning,” he adds.

Curran has been to Caulfield on five occasions for a win and two placings including a third behind Oxley Road in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1000m).

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