Trainer Andrew Noblet hopes the weather forecasters have it right ahead of the David Bourke Provincial Plate at Flemington.
Noblet has noted wet-tracker By The Grace entered in Saturday’s 1600m-race restricted to horses who have raced at least three times in non-metropolitan races in the preceding 12 months.
The forecast for Saturday for rain which pleases Noblet who says By The Grace doesn’t stretch out on firm tracks.
“The forecast on Saturday looks ordinary a long way out but there has been rain predicted the last couple of weekends and nothing has happened,” Noblet said.
“It hasn’t rained for a while so it has to break soon.”
Noblet says By The Grace is in excellent physical condition but needs the sting out of the track to perform at his best.
“He’s been racing all right until the point of letting down and he just won’t go on the firmish tracks,” Noblet said.
“Unfortunately we thought we had him in at the right time of the year but he’s only had one wet track and that was at Warrnambool.”
At the corresponding meeting last year on a soft track, By The Grace finished second to Jacquinot Bay over 1400m while his only performance on wet ground this preparation was another second to Tick Tick Bloom on a heavy track at Warrnambool last month.
Noblet also has By The Grace nominated for the UBET Handicap (1600m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
He said he may also accept with the gelding in Adelaide and keep an eye on the weather, although his preference is to remain in Melbourne.
“This seems to be his time of the year, so if we get some rain he’ll run, otherwise we’ll wait for another day,” Noblet said.
By The Grace last tasted success in the Balaklava Cup in September 2015 and Noblet said if the gelding’s form warranted it, he may return for another attempt.
The David Bourke Provincial Plate has attracted 26 nominations with last-start Swan Hill Cup winner Victory Downs and Magic Consol, runner-up at Moonee Valley on Saturday, among the entries.