He’s been described as “porky” by his trainer but lack of fitness won’t be an issue for Audacious Spirit in the Keith Noud Handicap at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Gillian Heinrich says keeping Audacious Spirit mentally fresh and physically fit has been her aim this campaign.
“After he won first-up at Eagle Farm I sent him out to my friend’s property at Coomera for a week and he had a great time out there with his head down all day, eating lots of green grass,” she said.
“He’s the porky one in our stable and came back carrying an extra seven or eight kilograms but he had a good gallop this week and I’m very happy with his condition.”
Heinrich says the three weeks break between his first-up win and the Noud suits the gelding perfectly.
The Group Three George Moore Stakes at Doomben on December 8 will be the main goal for Audacious Spirit this campaign.
“He’s not a Magic Millions horse and I’ll wait until after the George Moore to see where we go with him,” Heinrich said.
The five-year-old drew a wide barrier when he won at Eagle Farm on November 3, impressing Heinrich with his courage under pressure.
“They made him work early and he was entitled to feel the pinch at the finish but he just kept fighting and, I thought, was holding them off comfortably,” she said.
While Audacious Spirit has led to win most of his races, Heinrich doesn’t believe he is one-dimensional.
“He’s already shown he can win races coming from off the pace but the main thing is to get him into rhythm,” he said.
“It’s detrimental to horses like him who have a high cruising speed to try and hold them up.
“If he doesn’t lead on Saturday it won’t be a big deal as long as they don’t slam the brakes on and upset his stride pattern.”
Audacious Spirit is the $2.60 favourite with TAB Fixed Odds ahead of Excellantes at $3 who returns to Brisbane after finishing third at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day.