Former Perth horse He Or She has a tough task from a wide barrier for his Flemington debut but his new trainer believes he is up to the challenge.
The winner of seven of his nine starts in the west for trainer Vaughn Sigley, He Or She will be having his first run for the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig stable at Flemington on Saturday.
He Or She has drawn barrier 16 in a field of 18 in the fourth heat of the VRC-CRV Winter Championship Series (1400m).
With Hayes in England overseeing Criterion’s Royal Ascot preparation, Dabernig is looking after the home team.
He said He Or She may just have the one run before being put away for the spring.
After finishing out of the money at his first run back from a spell in November, He Or She went on a winning spree, claiming five successive victories, the last of which came at Ascot on New Year’s Day.
“If you watch his replays he looks 100-1 in the run but he comes out wide and jumps out of the ground late,” Dabernig said.
“We thought seven furlongs (1400m) at Flemington would be ideal and while the wide gate is not ideal, his pattern is he’ll be ridden quietly and let him run home.
“He’s a pretty casual sort and not a flash worker but (Cox plate winner) Fields Of Omagh was not a flash worker either, and was a very good racehorse.”
Dabernig said He Or She would not go too deep into winter as he had not raced on rain-affected ground.
Former Perth jockey Chris Parnham has ridden He Or She twice in the west for two wins and will be back aboard at Flemington.
Sigley, who bred the mare, and Perth couple Alan and Birgitt McAlister have retained their shares in He Or She with the other 50 per cent bought by bloodstock consultant Mark Pilkington for a syndicate.