Stephen Baster only has a light book of rides at Flemington but rates his chances of feature race success.
Baster was booked for three rides on Saturday’s program but one has already been scratched while another is an emergency.
General Groove, however, takes his place in the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes and Baster goes to the race encouraged by the six-year-old’s second-up effort for fifth in the Christmas Stakes (1200m) on Boxing Day.
The gelding’s most recent win came over the Chester Manifold course and distance during the 2014 spring carnival.
“I thought he ran really well in the Christmas Stakes last start,” Baster said.
“I think the 1400 metres suits him, especially as he’s getting a bit older. He’s drawn well (3) and there looks to be nice enough speed so I think he should be hard to beat.”
General Groove is one of two runners in the Chester Manifold Stakes for trainers Leon and Troy Corstens who also have Tried And Tired.
Tried And Tired is on the third line of betting at $4.60 while General Groove has firmed from $15 to $9 with TAB fixed odds.
Baster will head to New Zealand on Sunday week to ride the Andrew Carston-trained filly What Choux Want in the Karaka Million.
What Choux Want finished third at Ellerslie last weekend.
Baster, who rides for the filly’s owner Stan Saric, says What Choux Want is a genuine hope.
“I watched her last run and she looked pretty stiff to me,” Baster said.