Co-trainer Tom Dabernig is confident He’s Our Rokki can make the step to Group One company when he lines up in the Toorak Handicap at Caulfield.
He’s Our Rokki is one of two runners Dabernig and his fellow trainers David and Ben Hayes will saddle in the 1600m race on Saturday.
Drawing barrier one and to be ridden by Dwayne Dunn, He’s Our Rokki is the $4 early favourite.
Stablemate Jacquinot Bay, a $26 chance, didn’t draw so kindly, coming up with the widest barrier in the 13 horse field.
He’s Our Rokki will be aiming to stretch his winning streak to five on Saturday.
After winning his final two starts of a Sydney autumn campaign, He’s Our Rokki has won two 1400m races at Caulfield since resuming.
Dabernig says He’s Our Rokki will be suited by the rise in distance and the trainer is already looking further ahead to the Melbourne Cup carnival.
He said the Group One Emirates (formerly Mackinnon) Stakes on the final day of the carnival may be suitable.
“He’s had two runs at the 1400 metres and in a handicap like the Toorak he gets into it well,” Dabernig said.
“It really looks like a Group One that he could win but he also gets beyond the mile.
“It will be one race at a time with him but he’ll be well placed after this run for Flemington too.
“The Mackinnon probably fits well a fortnight after the Cox Plate but for a lot of them the Cox Plate might be their grand final.”
Dabernig said if He’s Our Rokki didn’t reach expectations during the spring the stable may look at a return trip to Perth for the summer carnival.
He’s Our Rokki ran eighth in the WA Guineas last November.
“We’re not frightened to take them to Perth but it all depends on what he does coming up,” Dabernig said.
“If he’s winning we might tip him out and look at the autumn.
“He might be a good Australian Cup type of horse.”
Dabernig said Jacquinot Bay would appreciate coming back to a handicap following four runs at weight-for-age.
“He’s been racing in career-best form but he normally finds one or two better than him but he’s at a track and distance he performs well at,” Dabernig said.
“Plus there’s no Black Heart Bart for him to chase.”