Gazza Guru will front up at Rosehill on Saturday regardless of the track conditions in an important stepping stone to his main winter mission.
Trainer Stephen Farley is aiming the honest seven-year-old at next month’s $150,000 Grafton Cup (2350m) and the gelding will try to take out Saturday’s 1900m Benchmark 85 Handicap on his way there.
“Our main aim with him is to go to Grafton for the Cup so he’ll be running rain, hail or shine on Saturday although if it gets too wet it would not be his preferred track condition,” Farley said.
“He’s going very well and has just continued on his form from last preparation.”
Gazza Guru showed he was on target for his Grafton Cup mission with a last-start win over 1600m on slow going at Warwick Farm.
Apprentice Shaun Guymer has ridden the gelding in all three starts this campaign and will retain the mount at Rosehill.
Gazza Guru is no stranger to racing at Grafton’s popular country carnival having won the South Grafton Cup (1600m) last year and a restricted race over the same distance two years earlier.
“He’s unbeaten in two starts there so he likes the track,” Farley said.
“He’s going to be further into his preparation this year so we’re targeting the Cup and he proved last year in the Newcastle Cup over 2300 metres when he was beaten a head by a head that he can run the trip.”
Farley said Gazza Guru had continued to please since his Warwick Farm win, his seventh from 63 starts.
“He pulled up fine and seems very happy in himself. His work last Saturday morning was probably one of the best bits of work he has ever put in,” he said.
Gazza Guru can handle the wet but Farley believes he is best suited on dry ground.
Farley’s stable star Sincero, meanwhile, is due to arrive back at the trainer’s Wyong stable next week to prepare for a Melbourne spring carnival campaign aimed at the Cox Plate.
“He may trial here first and then head to Melbourne and kick off in the Memsie Stakes,” Farley said.