Caloundra trainer Stuart Kendrick has put plans for his Group One prospect Eric The Eel on the back burner as he plans wins for two stablemates.
Kendrick had varied luck with the barrier draw at Eagle Farm with Misery getting the tricky gate nine in an open handicap but another of his top horses Jagged Edge drawing ideally in four for his comeback.
Eric The Eel took the first step towards a start in the Victoria Derby with a second in a Sunshine Coast barrier trial on Tuesday.
The gelding was last into the straight but ran on strongly to get within a neck of speedy Combat Kid in an 860m trial.
Eric The Eel was having his first serious hit-out since running fifth in the Group One JJ Atkins (1600m) when he charged home from last on June 8.
Kendrick was pleased with the effort and will give Eric The Eel another trial over 1200m before a first-up race.
“We will look for a 1400m race first up for him and from there map out exactly which races to target on the way to the 2019 Victoria Derby,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kendrick is keen to get Misery back in the winners’ circle in the BRC Membership Handicap (1000m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Originally trained by Darren Bell and Bjorn Baker, Misery has been a most consistent performer since joining Kendrick and was a Sunshine Coast winner three starts back.
But he has been well beaten at his past two starts at Doomben and Eagle Farm.
“He has got caught in the wrong part of the track at his past two starts,” Kendrick said.
“He has won nine races and seven of them have been at 1000m. But he is up in open company now and you need a bit of luck.”
Misery has had a week on Kendrick’s farm to freshen him for Saturday’s race.
Smart three-year-old Jagged Edge has drawn well in barrier four for his return.
Jagged Edge showed his class in winning the Listed Dalrello Stakes during the winter.
He beat Alligator Blood, who is running in the Ming Dynasty Stakes in Sydney on Saturday, in a recent trial.