Trainers Jim and Greg Lee continue to set the bar high for three-year-old Lightz who continues the quest for his maiden win in a black-type race at Rosehill.
The Randwick-based brothers challenged the son of Golden Slipper winners Sepoy and Polar Success to at least qualify for the coveted race for two-year-olds in March, but those ambitions were unfulfilled.
After making his debut in a Maiden Plate at Rosehill last October, Lightz had one more start before being spelled.
He resumed in February with a fourth in the Listed Lonhro Plate won by Veranillo.
The Lees then asked Lightz to jump up in class again to the Group Two Silver Slipper and Todman Stakes.
Lightz failed to make an impression in either but Greg Lee is convinced a more mature horse will line up in The Rosebud (1100m) on Saturday.
“He’s a November foal, that’s what beat him last time,” Lee said.
“We thought we’ll have a crack at getting him to the Slipper but he just wasn’t mature enough.”
Lee said Lightz, the winner of two of his three barrier trials ahead of Saturday’s Listed race, had toughened up during a spell.
“He’s more horse this preparation. He’s matured right up,” Lee said.
“We think we’ll run 1400 metres to a mile so we’re going to have a crack at the Caulfield Guineas 2017. They’re the sorts of races we have in mind.
Lightz is the only horse in The Rosebud yet to get off the mark, but Lee is optimistic the breakthrough is not far away.
“It’s only a matter of time. He’s just quality. He’s just a natural,” he said.
The Gerald Ryan-trained Menari, third in the Slipper before being demoted to fourth on protest, was posted the $2.60 favourite in the TAB’s first markets ahead of Siege Of Quebec at $3.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Siege Of Quebec made a winning debut at Newcastle in June and backed it up with another victory at Rosehill last month.