Next month’s Group One South Australian Derby has emerged as the target for honest stayer Praecido.
The David Payne-trained three-year-old drops back to 2000 metres on Saturday in the Group Three Frank Packer Plate at Randwick after his last-start fourth in the AJC Australian Derby (2400m).
The One Cool Cat colt has twice been placed at Group One level this season and the South Australian Derby on May 8 would be his third Derby following his second in the Victoria Derby (2500m) and fourth at Randwick.
“He’ll run well on Saturday, he’s freshened up since the Derby and then he’ll go to Adelaide for the Derby in two weeks,” Payne said.
“It wasn’t originally the plan but it’s come about because it’s 2500 metres and it’s probably going to be a bit weaker class than the AJC Derby.
“That’s his mission at the moment, but it all depends on how he goes on Saturday.”
Praecido followed the traditional path to the AJC Australian Derby, running in the Royal Sovereign Stakes, Hobartville Stakes, Randwick Guineas and Rosehill Guineas.
The colt’s only win in 18 starts so far came in a midweek race for two-year-olds more than a year ago but he has raced in stakes company ever since and has been placed in the Gloaming Stakes (1800m), Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m), Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and Victoria Derby (2500m).
Praecido is at $9 with TAB Sportsbet for the Frank Packer Plate behind the Gai Waterhouse-trained duo Fast Clip ($2.90) and Needs Further ($3.60).