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A tubby Pascero makes his return at Flemington in the Listed A R Creswick Stakes

Star Patrol and Passive Aggressive may dominate discussions on the A R Creswick Stakes at Flemington, however rival trainers are not conceding the race to the talented duo.

While they are the two in form horses and clearly head the market for Saturday’s 1200m Listed affair, it will be no walk in the park as the winner tries to emulate the deeds of Group 1 winners Nature Strip and Gytrash who are recent victors of the race.

The TrentĀ BusuttinĀ and Natalie Young stable head to Saturday’s race withĀ Pascero, who is returning from an autumn campaign.

Successful at his first two starts at Sandown,Ā PasceroĀ headed to the Group 3 C S Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington for start number three when run down late by Pinstriped, before heading to the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington in March, finishing seventh toĀ Hitotsu.

BusuttinĀ hopes to win a “nice” race over the spring withĀ PasceroĀ and while the Creswick Stakes may seem an early start to the campaign, it fits into the colt’s program.

“He’s a big heavy colt and he didn’t need to be sitting out in a paddock for six or eight weeks out in the cold,”Ā BusuttinĀ said.

“He’s up and ready to go so we’ll get him started as we’d like to target a nice race in theĀ spring,Ā and we’d like to get his rating up a bit hopefully.”

BusuttinĀ said there were no set plans forĀ Pascero.

The first target is to boostĀ Pascero’sĀ rating beyond 78 which will eventually enable him to get into that “nice” race, whatever that may be.

“Hopefully he can get a couple of wins under the belt during theĀ winter,Ā and then we can see where we go,”Ā BusuttinĀ said.

“He’ll run well on Saturday, but he’s only had one trial. He probably neededĀ two,Ā but the trials got cancelled a couple of weeks ago.

“He’ll present a bit fat and it is a pretty hot field, but he will run well.”

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