While a stayer racing over 1400 metres second-up would often be discounted as a winning chance, Ecuador’s record at the trip is imposing.
The horse is on a path back to races over 2000m and above, distances at which he has won stakes races, but boasts three victories and two runner-up finishes from five starts at 1400m.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained gelding is set to have another tilt at the distance in Saturday’s Listed Carrington Stakes at Randwick.
Ecuador is coming off a 1400m-victory at Rosehill first-up on Christmas Eve when his class prevailed in an open handicap despite his 62kg.
“He was absolutely brilliant first-up. He had to carry the top weight,” Bott said.
He drops one kilogram from his last start and will jump from the inside gate for Adam Hyeronimus who has been with the horse for four of his nine wins.
“He’s got to carry a bit of weight again and it’s a nice competitive field,” Bott said.
The manner of Ecuador’s first-up win signalled the seven-year-old’s best may not be behind him
“We’ve tried to keep him nice and fresh to keep him sharp over 1400 metres,” Bott said.
“As we know his ideal trip is over a bit further.
“Later in his campaign we’ll be looking to be stretching him out over further but hopefully he’s right up to the mark for Saturday.”
Bott and Waterhouse are yet to determine which autumn carnival races Ecuador will target, preferring to use Saturday’s race as a guide.
Seven horses have been accepted for the Randwick feature with Kim Waugh set to bring Oxford Poet and Shiraz from her Wyong base.
Father-son training duo Peter and Paul Snowden have Princefamous and Gold Symphony in the race.
The Peter Robl-trained Ninth Legion and Wouldnt It Be Nice from the Paul Perry stable round out the field.