Three-year-old Oink will be at the crossroads of his career when he steps out at the Sunshine Coast.
Oink was rated one of Queensland’s best three-year-olds coming into the winter after a barnstorming win first-up at Eagle Farm in April.
But he subsequently failed to run a place in three stakes races during the carnival including his most recent when 13th in the Group Two Queensland Guineas (1600m) on June 10.
Trainer Kelly Schweida admits he was disappointed with Oink’s run in the Guineas.
“I thought he would be a 1600-metre horse and on that run he isn’t. Also I though he would be a stakes horse and maybe he isn’t,” Schweida said.
“His runs were on wet tracks and I am not sure he is a horse suited at Doomben on heavy tracks. But at the moment that is what we have to race on and we have to make do.”
“I will be interested to see how he goes on the bigger Sunshine Coast track on Saturday.”
Schweida has given Oink a freshen-up and has brought him back in distance to 1200m in Saturday’s Three-Year-Old Hcp (1000m).
“I suppose you can say he is at the crossroads. He should get a drier track and the bigger circuit should suit him very well,” Schweida said.
“If he races well we can look at better things here or away. But if not we will have to lower our sights.”
Leading apprentice Tiffani Brooker is back from suspension to ride Oink who is raced by friends and family of the late jockey Tim Bell.
“Tiff will claim 1.5 kilos which will also help Oink. He has a few things in his favour,” Schweida said.
Oink heads the TAB’s early market at $5 ahead of the locally trained Tversky at $5.50.