Long-term the Country Championship is a goal for Common Purpose but first his trainer would like to see him build on his recent maiden win at Goulburn.
The John Bateman-trained Common Purpose ran second at his first four starts before winning a 1500m-maiden on his home track at Goulburn on June 19.
That was the breakthrough Bateman was looking for to coax him to town and the three-year-old runs in Wednesday’s Ranvet Handicap (1600m) at Warwick Farm.
“He ran into some good horses and didn’t have a lot of luck with barriers at his first four starts and was a bit green,” Bateman said.
“I think the penny is starting to drop now and I always thought he would be at his best at 1400 metres to a mile.
“Last time he jumped well from a good barrier and put himself there and then put them to the sword.”
Mathew Cahill has ridden Common Purpose in all his starts and is again aboard at Warwick Farm where the gelding will jump from barrier one.
“Matty knows him well now,” Bateman said.
“He’s done a terrific job with him.”
Bateman and Cahill rode against each other as apprentices but the trainer said it had been about 30 years since he had put a leg over a horse.
He took time off from racing before finding his way to Guy Walter’s stable at Warwick Farm and then to the late trainer’s satellite yard at Goulburn where he still trains.
Wednesday’s race may or may not be Common Purpose’s last of the preparation.
“I have the Country Championship in the autumn in mind,” Bateman said.
“Depending on how he goes we can give him a bit of a break and plan what to do next.
“He needs to be a Class Five horse when it comes to the Country Championship heat so he can win a couple before then.”
Common Purpose is a $10 chance with the TAB which has the Chris Waller-trained Jaunty as the $3 favourite for Wednesday’s race.