Trainer Jeff Caught has warned that Melbourne-bound Falino still has further room for improvement ahead of his second-up assignment at Eagle Farm.
Caught said he had deliberately “left something in the tank” for a two-start Melbourne campaign after the sprinter starts in Saturday’s Stanton Mienert Business Valuations Handicap (1200m).
Falino scored a stunning first-up victory in a 1200-metre Open at Eagle Farm on October 1 which confirmed Caught’s plans to head interstate for a sprint race on Melbourne Cup day next month.
The four-year-old will stay on Melbourne for the Listed $100,000 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m) at Sandown on November 12.
Caught has six horses in work and will take time off from his job as a design draftsman for a Brisbane engineering company to take Falino away.
“He has come on since his win last start but I’ve left something in the tank for Melbourne,” Caught said.
“I don’t want him peaking for this run but he should be right at his top on Melbourne Cup day.”
Jockey Ric McMahon, who rode the gelding in a Doomben barrier trial win prior to his Eagle Farm victory, has been booked for the rides in Melbourne although Matt Palmer will partner him second-up.
“Unfortunately, Ric is suspended but he’s going down to ride him in Melbourne,” Caught said.
“Matt has never ridden him, not even in trackwork, but he’s a good rider and will do the job.
“I could have claimed on him but I wanted a senior rider before he leaves next week.
“I couldn’t risk an apprentice with him leaving next week, just in case something goes wrong on Saturday.”
Caught is keeping a close watch on the weather with rain forecast before race day.
“He’ll definitely be starting unless we get a lot of rain and the track becomes heavy,” Caught said.
“He’s going down for two runs in Melbourne and that will be it this campaign.
“I’m not doing the summer series here and he’ll be spelling by then getting ready for the winter races next year.
“He’ll come back into work around February and will be ready to run in April just before the winter carnival gets underway.
“I doubt he’d go to Sydney but it’ll depend how he’s going at the time.”
Falino has started only 11 times for five wins and two placings.
The son of Fusaichi Pegasus stamped his class at his third start from a spell last campaign with a narrow victory over Spirit Of Boom in the Group Three BTC Classic (1350m) at Doomben on May 21.
However, his two subsequent performances fell short of his best when 12th to Varenna Miss in the Group Two QTC Cup (1300m) and 17th to Torio’s Quest in the Group Two Queensland Guineas (1600m), both at Eagle Farm in June.
Falino has travelled interstate once previously, winning over 1200 metres at Rosehill on December 11.