There have been a few hurdles on the way to Dream Folk’s stakes debut at Rosehill – literally.
Trainer Greg Hickman has given the five-year-old some exercise over jumps to change his routine ahead of his campaign targets – Saturday’s Listed Winter Cup at Rosehill and the Group Three Grafton Cup.
“He has always showed plenty but he hasn’t always been consistent,” Hickman said.
“So we have been taking him to a farm and putting him over some small jumps and it seems to be working.
“He is a lovely horse to deal with and we just need to keep his mind on things.”
Dream Folk’s past four starts have yielded a win at Kembla Grange over the 2400m of Saturday’s Winter Cup and two minor placings, most recently a close third behind Reigning and Bagman over 2000m at Rosehill.
The gelding was originally trained by the late Guy Walter who also prepared his sire Dream Ballad, a half-brother to his champion Tie The Knot.
Sydney’s leading apprentice Winona Costin will ride Dream Folk in the Winter Cup and has also been booked for the Grafton Cup (2350m) on July 9.
Dream Folk will be accompanied on the trip to Grafton by stablemates Lyric and Braces with Costin to ride the pair.
“Winona has ridden my last five winners and she has been good enough to travel to do so,” Hickman said.
“We are only a small stable so it’s hard to get the top senior riders who are tied up with the bigger stables.
“I’m very happy to be able to get Winona. She has been accepted by all the owners and she rides to instructions so it’s been a good combination.”
Costin will also ride the Hickman-trained Private Secretary at Rosehill if the mare starts in the TAB Place Multi Handicap (1400m).
“I’ll wait and see what the track is like,” Hickman said.
“I’d like to see an upgrade from the heavy eight for her.”
Last-start Ipswich Cup winner Danchai is shading Bonfire for favouritism in the Winter Cup with Dream Folk the third elect.