Wangaratta trainer Dan McCarthy has his sights on Adelaide’s feature sprint, the Group One Goodwood, with the promising Ashlor.
Ashlor made it seven wins from 13 starts with a comfortable front-running victory in an 1100m handicap at Bendigo on Saturday when he carried 51kg after the claim of apprentice Tahlia Hope.
McCarthy is aiming the four-year-old towards next month’s Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville.
The sprinter finished fifth in the Group Two Euclase Stakes (1200m) against his own age at Morphettville last year after a wide run before winning a benchmark race at the same track a week later.
“He was very unlucky in the Euclase last year,” McCarthy said.
“He’s won seven of thirteen. You’ve got to aim them up somewhere.”
But first, Ashlor’s next assignment is scheduled to be the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Sprint (1200m) at Caulfield on April 21.
“He’ll have a massive rise in weight that day but he has won with 62 kilos before so weight is not a massive issue for him,” the trainer said.
“He’s just a racehorse.”
Ashlor was having the second start of his preparation on Saturday having been off the scene since last July.
McCarthy said they pressed on late last season and chased some races carrying VOBIS bonuses at Flemington at the end of his three-year-old year but said it backfired as the sprinter appeared to “hate” racing on the straight course.
He has been unplaced the three times he has raced at Flemington in straight-track races.
“He had a really long prep and we brought him back in and I just wasn’t happy with him so I turned him back out, with the idea of going towards the Goodwood,” McCarthy said.
“Whether we’re up to that or not, I don’t know. But that’s where we’re headed.”