Trainer Tony McEvoy has called on apprentice Lachlan King in a bid to give Scottish Rogue some weight relief at Flemington.
Scottish Rogue won consecutive starts at Pakenham and Sandown during May before finishing third at his most recent start at Flemington where he carried 59kg in an 1100m-race on the straight course.
The two-year-old gelding has 59kg again in Saturday’s Gippsland Region Handicap (1400m) but King will take 3kg off his weight.
“It’s just so he can get a little bit of weight relief and make it a bit easier for him,” McEvoy’s Melbourne foreman Michael Shepherdson said.
“He jumped up on the speed last start and down the straight he was going to be a bit vulnerable with that kind of weight but he was very brave to the line and he stayed on really well. They only got past him late.
“He’s really toughened up through the preparation and he hasn’t left an oat.
“You would think around a bend over 1400 metres he’s going to run a solid race.”
Shepherdson said King had ridden Scottish Rogue in a couple of jump-outs earlier in the season.
Talented three-year-old filly Mintha will be tested over 1600m for the first time this preparation in the Macedon and Goldfields Handicap and has a wide draw in the field of 16.
Mintha was unplaced in two attempts over a mile in good company last spring, including a fifth in the Group One Thousand Guineas at Caulfield.
The filly won a 1400m-maiden two starts ago at Balaklava by 9-1/2-lengths before a third at Flemington last Saturday week.
“I thought her run last start was full of merit,” Shepherdson said.
“Arguably you could say she ran up to her run when she was dominant in the maiden.
“She handled the step up in grade and out to a mile on Saturday looks very suitable.”