Sandown Guineas winner Petrology is progressing well towards his Manfred Stakes return but his jockey depends on the outcome of Nick Hall’s appeal against a careless riding ban.
Hall was outed for 10 meetings at Mornington on Friday and will appeal the severity of the penalty, hoping to get one day shaved off to allow him to ride at the Sandown meeting on January 26.
The David Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained Petrology is scheduled to run that day in the Group Three Manfred Stakes (1300m), the first step in an Australian Guineas campaign.
Petrology finished the spring in style, winning a Listed race during the Melbourne Cup carnival before his dominant Group Two Sandown Guineas victory.
Hall rode Petrology in a jump-out at Werribee on Friday and Dabernig said the colt was on target for his first-up assignment.
“He narrowly won the jump-out and he’s going well,” Dabernig said.
“He’s a Fastnet Rock colt who doesn’t carry a lot of excess condition.
“Some of them are quite big, heavy-framed horses but he’s quite athletic and he’s come to hand very quickly.
“I think he’ll be pretty forward for that race of the 26th.”
A three-quarter brother to Group One winner Aqua D’Amore, Petrology is scheduled to get his first chance to add a valuable Group One to his resume in the Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington in March.
“I think first-up will be a good indicator of where he’s at,” Dabernig said.
“But his main goal is third-up in the Australian Guineas if he’s going well enough at the time.”
Another well-bred three-year-old in the Lindsay Park squad is Sistonic who scored an effortless debut win at Sale on Thursday.
Sistonic has family ties to champion Black Caviar. She is by the same sire, Bel Esprit, and their mothers are half-sisters.
Dabernig said she would head to town on January 30 to run in a benchmark race for fillies over 1200m at Moonee Valley.