Greg Eurell could dominate the undercard to the Ballarat Cup with three of the trainer’s four runners early favourites in their respective races.
Eurell has targeted Saturday’s $100,000 Vobis Gold Eureka Concrete (1400m) with Urban Ruler since the three-year-old won his most recent start in Adelaide in September.
“Based on what he did in Adelaide we felt he just wasn’t quite up to the spring horses just yet,” Eurell said.
“So giving him a let-up and targeting this Vobis race on Saturday just looked ideal for him.
“His fitness levels are good and I think he’ll be very competitive.”
Urban Ruler is at $2.80 while stablemates Galaxy Raider ($2.30) and Ma Deuce ($4.60) are also early favourites in benchmark races.
Galaxy Raider put his rivals away by six lengths in a 1411m race at Sale last start and Eurell said it indicated the step up to 1600m in the SUEZ McKellar Mile would suit.
“I thought it was an extremely good run last start,” Eurell said.
“The barrier played against him and he was stuck deep but he stuck to his guns and certainly hit the line as you’d like to see him hit the line.
“He’s come out of that run terrific so it looks a nice race for him.”
Lightly raced Ma Deuce resumes in the Thomas Jewellers BM70 Handicap (1100m) for his first start since back-to-back wins at Ballarat and Pakenham in March and April.
Eurell said the gelding had a swollen hock which appeared to have rectified itself during a winter spell.
“For whatever reason his hock blew up and it was one of those things where we couldn’t find anything wrong with him,” Eurell said.
He said it had not worried him since his return to work with the trainer’s only concern the race is 1100m not 1200m.
“In saying that the horse is pretty sharp in his work at the moment so he’ll run a pretty cheeky race,” Eurell said.
Gold Bar, a winner at Sale two starts ago, has had a freshen-up since an unplaced run at Caulfield on October 1. She has barrier one and is an $18 chance in the Sam Miranda Mares BM78 Handicap (1200m).
“It looks a good race for her,” Eurell said. “She’s drawn to get the run of the race.”