Cranbourne trainer Raymond Mathews has spent a lifetime around horses and is hoping lightly raced Indrik can give him a rare city win at Sandown.
On Wednesday, Mathews saddles up Indrik in Thebigscreencompany.com.au Handicap (1400m) in which he will be ridden by apprentice Nathan Punch.
Mathews has been training for more than 40 years, starting with standardbreds before switching to thoroughbreds 25 years ago.
He still dabbles with standardbreds and has five thoroughbreds on his books.
He produced Indrik to win at his first run for the stable at Cranbourne on December 10.
Mathews has to closely monitor Indrik who has a knee problem which has restricted his career but the trainer says the six-year-old, who has raced only six times, is pain-free and in good order.
“Every run could be his last and that’s the way we’re taking it,” Mathews said.
After starting his career with Mick Price before a stint with Mitchell Freedman at Warrnambool, Indrik was bought by Andrew Walker who Mathews says did the rehabilitation work on former top class sprinter Hay List when he broke down.
Mathews said he was surprised with Indrik’s narrow first-up win at Cranbourne.
“We knew the horse was going good,” Mathews said.
“His heart rate said he was aerobically fit but until they actually have a run you don’t know, but so far we’ve got it right.”
How far Indrik can take Mathews he’s unsure as the gelding is a race-by-race proposition.
Mathews is on the lookout for a good horse to keep him closer to his Cranbourne stables rather than travelling the countryside in the search for a winner.
“I’d like to get another one or two thoroughbreds that are handy that can take me to the races, but not too far away,” Mathews said.
“Tracks like Cranbourne, Mornington, Pakenham, down to Moe and if we’re good enough, Sandown.”
Mathews is hoping Indrik is one who is good enough to take to Sandown.
He’s one of only three last-start winners in the race which has 20 acceptors.