Toowoomba trainer Steve Tregea has a reputation for successfully trying new tactics with his horses and he hopes to do it again with Prioritise at Eagle Farm.
Prioritise has run at 1600m, 1800m and 1400m at his past three starts but will drop back to 1200m in Saturday’s Mount Franklin Handicap at Eagle Farm.
Tregea is also noted for targeting the Brisbane summer carnival where he has won six feature races in recent years.
But Prioritise has been a frustration, starting with the gelding’s sixth in the Keith Noud Quality (1200m) in November.
“He was a $151 shot in that race and got beaten about two lengths and few good judges reckon he should have gone close,” Tregea said.
“He has had four runs since in top summer company and run sixth, fifth, fifth, and sixth.
“In other words he is racing well, finishing just behind them, but he hasn’t quite been up to the top horses.
“He just seems to be hitting a flat spot in the straight at the wrong time.”
Tregea has given Prioritise a break and a freshen since his sixth in The Buffering at Eagle Farm on December 28.
“He races well on the fresh side and we haven’t done much with him,” Tregea said.
“So we have dropped him back in class and in distance. He is a horse that does go well for apprentices so I will take three kilograms off his back with apprentice Adin Thompson.”
Tregea said because Prioritise was a versatile horse who had won from 1000 to 2000m, he was willing to experiment with the distance.
“It might seem a strange move at this time in his campaign but he is a horse you can do different things with,” he said.
Tregea was hoping some of the rain that fell at Eagle Farm this week would have headed to his property which is outside Toowoomba, on the Darling Downs.
“The way the track surface at Eagle Farm plays I don’t think we will ever see a heavy track there,” he said.
“But we could do with some rain here as there is hardly a blade of grass on my property.”