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One trainer happy with an earlier start time to the Flemington meeting is John Sadler who will run Sircconi and Shoko.

Sadler was not looking forward to running Sircconi first-up in Saturday’s Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap on firm ground.

A forecast temperature of 36 degrees had Sadler worried about the track condition, but bringing the race forward from 3.20pm to 1.35pm has softened those fears.

Sircconi is having his first run since finishing last in the Group One Cantala Stakes at Flemington last November.

Sadler said while he was pleased with how Sircconi was progressing, he would also benefit from the run.

“He did a little too well in the paddock and he’s done pretty well since he’s been back in,” Sadler said.

“I’m very pleased with the horse but I think he might need the run.

“The thing that worries me more than that, because the run will bring him on, is if the track was too firm.

“Bringing it forward is super and the track might not be too firm.”

After Saturday’s run, Sadler plans to start Sircconi over 1400m again at Flemington on March 16 after which a decision will be made whether to continue his campaign in Melbourne or Sydney.

“We can keep him here for races like the Golden Mile at Bendigo or even freshen him and run him in the Victoria Handicap as he goes well at Caulfield,” Sadler said.

“Or if he’s showing that he’s back to anywhere near his best, maybe the Doncaster.

“The reason of thinking about Sydney is because of the type of weather they can get up there.

“I reckon on a soft track he wouldn’t be out of his depth.”

Shoko, who resumes in the Frances Tressady Stakes (1400m), hasn’t raced since she finished last at Sandown in November.

“She did extremely well in the paddock and has come in and done well,” Sadler said.

“I’d be suggesting she might need the run, but she’s drawn a nice gate (2) and could surprise.”

 
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