The JRA Cup at The Valley could be on the agenda for Hi Stranger following his success at The Valley.
With a liking for The Valley, trainer Shane Fliedner hopes to be back at the track deeper into the spring with Hi Stranger.
The Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) in late September has been pencilled in for Hi Stranger after his victory in the Brompton Handicap (1600m) on Saturday.
Under a smart ride from Damien Thornton, Hi Stranger ($3.70) registered a 1-½ length win from the $3.10 Ladbrokes favourite No Effort with Starcaster ($7) three-quarters-of-a-length away third.
Fliedner has tried Hi Stranger just once beyond 1600m in his 29 starts, that being over 1800m as a three-year-old.
About to turn five, Fliedner said now was the right time to try the six-time winner who is undefeated in two starts at The Valley.
“He’s bred to run 2000 (metres),” Fliedner said.
“I’ve never pushed to get there but I think we will this time. He relaxes well and people have got the wrong perception of him because he runs so good first-up, but then he gets lost for a couple of runs.
“He’s just turning five now and probably just starting to be a real racehorse.
“Our target is the JRA Cup here later. Hopefully we might get there.”
Al Galayel, sixth as an $8.50 chance on Saturday, won the corresponding race last year before going on to claim JRA Cup honours.
Thornton said the JRA Cup was worthwhile having an attempt at.
“All that you can do is win and that’s what he’s done today,” Thornton said.
“Naturally you raise the bar and Shane can work out to what level, but he’s smart enough, he knows what he’s doing.
“This horse keeps improving every time I’ve ridden him. He might get the 2000 (metres) and go to the next level, but time will tell.”