Pat Hyland knows King Triton cannot afford to give odds-on favourite Palmero a big head start in the Brierly Steeplechase at Warrnambool.
King Triton has settled well back in his two previous clashes with Palmero at Sandown and Oakbank with the latter winning handsomely on both occasions.
Hyland has stuck with jockey Trent Wells on Tuesday despite less than ideal outcomes in King Triton’s two previous starts.
“You couldn’t say he’s had the best rides in the last couple of starts,” Hyland said.
“The winner did beat him by six lengths at Sandown but King Triton must have given him 20 lengths start at one part of the race.
“The horse kept going home to the line at Oakbank and he’s been great since that run.”
King Triton meets Palmero 2.5kg better in the Brierly Steeplechase (3450m).
Hyland said the weight swing would help his charge but settling closer early would give King Triton, the $3.80 second pick, every hope of beating the $1.65 favourite Palmero.
“With ordinary luck, he’s a great chance of knocking the favourite off,” Hyland said.
King Triton is also one of eight acceptors for Thursday’s Grand Annual Steeplechase (5500m).
Hyland said his initial thought was to bypass the gruelling event with King Triton but he would not decide until after the Brierly Steeplechase.
“It’s still early in the season and there’s a lot of other races around,” Hyland said.
“It’s a good money race but it’s still only one race and it’s a long way the 5500 metres.”
The stable will also be represented by St Issey, a sister to the Hyland-trained Group One winner Zarita, in the George Taylor Stores Handicap.
Hyland said returning to slow ground would suit St Issey in her $35,000 assignment but the mare was on trial at the 2350 metres.