A lack of options in Sydney and the forecast of rain in Melbourne has prompted Warwick Farm trainer Jason Coyle to test You Make Me Smile in the Group Three Aurie’s Star Handicap at Flemington.
The winner of six of his 17 starts, You Make Me Smile will be tried in Group company for the second time in Saturday’s 1200m-straight Aurie’s Star Handicap.
You Make Me Smile resumed last Saturday week at Rosehill for his first start since March and while the gelding finished fourth in the July Sprint (1100m), Coyle was encouraged by the performance.
“The other option in Sydney this weekend was under weight-for-age conditions (Missile Stakes) which I didn’t think suited him and there was only an 1100-metre benchmark race next week which he would have to carry a lot of weight in,” Coyle said.
“Timing wise, second-up off the back of a good first-up run I thought it looked a nice race to take him down for and the weather there at the moment looks perfect for him to make sure he gets his toe in the ground.”
Flemington was in the soft range on Thursday after 13mm of rain in the past 24 hours with more predicted.
You Make Me Smile has won four times on soft or heavy going.
“He’s got a really nice record on rain-affected tracks so that’s definitely not an issue for him,” Coyle said.
You Make Me Smile was at $11 on Thursday in the field of 15, with Sesar the $4.20 favourite to bounce back after his Bletchingly Stakes flop.
The gelding’s performance, which will be his first try on the straight course, will help Coyle determine the rest of You Make Me Smile’s spring path with the Group Three Show County Quality in Sydney an immediate option two weeks later.
“He’s a horse with really nice ability as you’d expect when you’ve developed a record of six wins from 17 starts,” Coyle said.
“I guess we want to learn a little more about him and take him down there and test him in stakes company again which will give us a clearer picture of where we’re going in the next few months.”