Leon Corstens jokes that he’s had a word in the ear of Mr Individual in the lead-up to his outing at Moonee Valley.
The son of the Corstens-trained Group One winner Starspangledbanner could be racing to stave off a gelding operation when he runs in the Cafetto Coffee Clean Handicap (1600m) on Saturday.
Corstens, who trains in partnership with his son Troy, was disappointed with Mr Individual’s performance when eighth behind Sovereign Nation at Flemington on May 20.
“If he doesn’t perform on Saturday he’ll be walking around with a squeaky voice very shortly,” Corstens said.
“Maybe I’m being a bit harsh on him especially with his last run.
“The track may have been a bit hard for him on his knees and his joints and he may have jarred up.
“Some horses can run through a little bit of pain and others can’t, so maybe I’m being a little hard on him.”
Corstens said a return to Moonee Valley, where Mr Individual had his latest success in September last year, could help the four-year-old improve.
“At Moonee Valley you’re going uphill and you’re using the back half a bit more than the front,” he said.
“It certainly does help some horses.”
Corstens says he’s been right over Mr Individual and can’t fault the horse.
He says his work has been good, he looks in fantastic condition and he’s been eating up, all great signs for the trainer.
“We’re keeping our fingers, our legs, everything crossed in the hope he’ll run a better race,” he said.
Corstens will discuss options with the owners of Mamzelle Tess who drew poorly in barrier 18 in the William Hill Handicap.
Mamzelle Tess has won her past three starts at Bendigo, Geelong and Sale but Corstens says she may have to wait for another day to extend the sequence.
“From that barrier I think it’s too big an ask,” he said.