Trainer Patrick Payne has admitted he gave up on Raposo mid-race before the three-year-old charged home for a stylish win at Moonee Valley at his most recent start.
“If I’d been watching at home I would have changed the channel mid-race,” Payne said.
Raposo trailed the field by about three lengths after being slow into stride in a 1200m handicap on June 20.
He was held up momentarily rounding the home turn before sprinting strongly under apprentice Jessica Payne to score by three-quarters of a length.
Raposo steps to 1400m at Caulfield on Saturday in a 3YO Handicap.
“Jess (Payne) didn’t panic and the horse was really good the last 50 metres,” Payne said.
“It really suggested the step up to 1400 metres would suit.”
Jessica Payne, no relation to the trainer, retains the ride on Saturday .
Raposo has a habit of being slow out of the gates but his trainer says the gelding needs to find his feet rather than be bustled from the barriers.
“The tricky thing is if you give him a smack out of the gates, that’s his cue to go and he starts over-racing anyway,” Payne said.
“You just have to let him find his feet and catch up, and in winter time I think that’s a bit easier to do because the field tends to break up a bit more on softer tracks.”
A dual-purpose trainer, Payne said Sunday’s Mosstrooper Steeplechase winner Sea King and Brendan Drechsler Hurdle runner-up Fieldmaster had both pulled up well.
Fieldmaster will press on to the Grand National Hurdle at Warrnambool On July 12 while New Zealand jumper Sea King heads to the Crisp Steeplechase on the same day on his way to the Grand National Steeplechase.
Sea King won the Grand National Hurdle last year and finished third in last year’s Grand National Steeplechase.