Mike Moroney is hopeful Radipole will show the benefits of a good spell when the import begins his Winter Championship campaign in a heat of the series at Flemington.
Radipole is scheduled to be joined by stablemate Strike Force in Saturday’s 1400m handicap, with both horses in line for next month’s Listed Winter Championship Final (1600m) at the same track.
A Listed winner in France and Group Two placegetter in Australia in the 2018 Ajax Stakes, six-year-old Radipole was unplaced in all six runs last preparation and resumes on Saturday for his first start for six months.
“His last campaign was disappointing so that’s why we thought we would give him a nice, long break and then just look to the winter and the early part of the spring,” Moroney said.
“Our first impression is that he has definitely benefited from that break.
“His jump-outs have been nice, without being great. They’ve been good enough.”
Saturday’s race, the fourth heat of the Winter Championship series, has 32 nominations with Radipole 15th in the ballot on 55.5kg while Strike Force is 23rd and has the limit weight of 54kg.
Acceptances are taken on Wednesday.
Moroney believes barrier draws will be crucial to their chances, with Strike Force returning for his first start since December.
“If they both drew a gate then they would be hard to beat but they would need to draw well,” Moroney said.
“They are forward enough but they have still got improvement left in them, being first-up.
“Strike Force had a really good campaign last time. He’s going to have to up his game a bit to be winning at open class but he’s made his way through the classes and won nice money doing it.
“He’s been a good money spinner for the owners and it’s just a matter now of where he’s going to fit in. He’s going to be a lightweight chance in some of these races.”
Saturday’s meeting features heats of a number of the winter series races with Finals Day to be held on July 6.