Talented Man Of His Word returns to stakes racing at Doomben but trainer Bruce Hill still regards him as a work in progress.
Both races are over 1600m but Hill decided the Brisbane Handicap was the better option for Man Of His Word although he felt the Villiers was not beyond the gelding.
Hill has put hours of hard work into Man Of His Word whose career has been dogged by bad luck.
“He isn’t the sharpest tool around the stable and his get-back style in races means he can get into trouble,” Hill said.
“But he has a big finish and with a good barrier he can be ridden closer.”
“I was worried about the heat this week in Sydney. I didn’t want to have to travel him down there in those conditions when we can drive just up the highway to Brisbane.”
Man of His Word cost $10,000 but he took his win tally to five and his prize money to $191,000 when he demolished a Class 6 field at Eagle Farm at his last start.
The gelding is by rising star sire Lope De Vega who has produced several other impressive winners recently including Santa Ana Lane, Snoopy, and The Bull.
Hill has had a high opinion of Man Of His Word right from his first start as a two-year-old when he flashed home to run third to future Group Two winner Blueberry Hill.
The Gold Coast-based Hill thought enough of Man Of His Word to take him to Sydney for the Group Two Stan Fox Stakes last year.
“He ran fifth but wasn’t disgraced behind Press Statement. He deserves another crack at the better races,” Hill said.
Man Of His Word is raced by one of the Grand Syndicates who have been building up their team with Hill.
Hill will also run recent Coffs Harbour Cup winner Bodega Negra in the Brisbane Handicap with Robbie Fradd to ride.
“It was a good win at Coffs and he does go well at 1600 metres and around Doomben,” Hill said.