Peter Balzen believes the back-up factor won’t be a problem for Break The Ice but acknowledges a firm track at Eagle Farm is his greatest concern.
Break The Ice has started 23 times on dry tracks without success and might struggle to improve that record with little likelihood of rain forecast for Saturday.
“He’s a good, tough horse who has backed up before and won but I’ve got my fingers crossed for a bit of rain because he’s a really good wet tracker,” he said.
“At the moment the forecast doesn’t look promising but I’m very pleased with the way he’s going and getting in on the minimum weight again will certainly help his cause.”
Break The Ice led throughout to win on dead track at Doomben on December 29 but Balzen said the six-year-old’s racing pattern was not one dimensional.
“He doesn’t have to lead but we’ll take it up if the others are content to jog along and I can’t see the race being run much differently than it was last week,” he said.
“It looks a trifle harder and I suppose if Carry Me Bluey was a genuine 2100-metre horse he’d probably be two’s on but it still looks a suitable race.
“At least I know with Break The Ice he almost never runs a bad race beyond 2000 metres and he appears to have developed a bit of a sprint at the end of his races.”
Break The Ice has become a stable favourite but that wasn’t always the case, according to Balzen.
“As a young horse he was a bit of a terror but he’s a six-year-old now and is probably the nicest horse in the stable to do anything with,” he said.
Balzen is expecting an improved performance from Aquator in the Sirromet Love Sparkling Handicap (1000m).
“He’s drawn gate one and if the race is run to suit he’s a knockout hope because he’s shown a lot on the track at home and if he races truly, don’t be surprised to see him run well,” he said.