Trainer Robbie Laing is undecided if Christmas Stakes favourite Lord Of The Sky will take his place at Sandown.
Laing’s preferred option is to wait for the Standish Handicap at Flemington next week but he believes the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) on Friday is a winnable race.
With three stable acceptors, Lord Of The Sky, Mr Make Believe and Boomwaa, Laing said only Mr Make Believe was a confirmed starter and he would rather save Boomwaa for Moonee Valley on Saturday.
A blood count on Wednesday and some pace work on Christmas morning will decide whether Lord Of The Sky makes it on Friday.
“It looks a winnable race,” Laing said.
“He did a bit of work yesterday and pulled up well.
“I’ll let him do a little bit of pace work in the morning, use that as a guide and then let my instinct tell me whether we should be waiting a week or run on Friday.”
Laing said if he knew the Standish was going to be similar in strength to the Christmas Stakes then he would wait.
But he said if he scratched Lord Of The Sky and there were a few nominations from left field that made it tougher then he’d be kicking himself.
Noel Callow has his first ride on Lord Of The Sky and Laing will be instructing the jockey not to panic if he misses the start.
“If he can go through his first 400 metres sedately he should be right,” Laing said.
“He can run very quick 600, 800 but very few can run 1000 at the their top.
“With a bit more strength and if he learns to relax then he might be able to win a Group One sprint.”
Laing believes the Essendon Terrace Handicap (1200m) on Saturday is a better option for three-year-old Boomwaa.
With Patrick Moloney’s 2kg claim Boomwaa gets into the Moonee Valley race under the minimum.
“My take with Boomwaa is do you go to Sandown to run third or do you go to Moonee Valley, where with the claim he gets in under the minimum, and race for more than double the money,” Laing said.