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Lightly raced Chavuma is entered for the Bendigo Guineas but trainer Brendan McCarthy favours running the gelding in midweek company at Sandown.

Chavuma ran second at the track last month before breaking through for a maiden win at Bendigo on March 1 and is set to chase his first city win in Wednesday’s The Cove Hotel Handicap (1400m).

McCarthy said with the Listed Bendigo Guineas on Saturday also an option he decided to accept for Sandown and then look at the entries and potential field for Saturday’s Bendigo feature.

The Bendigo Guineas has 24 nominations with Chavuma 21st in the ballot.

“I’ve had a flick though it and at the moment I’ll probably stay at Sandown,” McCarthy said.

“It’s not that he’s not good enough for the Bendigo Guineas, but he’s still learning and getting a bit better with experience.”

McCarthy has trained a number of horses out of Chavuma’s dam Miss Zambezi including the three-year-old’s city-winning sister Zambezi Diamond who McCarthy believes is in for a good winter this year.

Another of his Chavuma’s siblings is eight-year-old Commanding Time, a winner up to 2046 metres.

“I’ve got a lot of time for Chavuma,” McCarthy said.

“He’s going to get over a bit of ground and even though he’s a three-year-old he’s still a big baby.

“I’ve trained most of the others out of the mare and had some success with them. I know the family pretty well.”

McCarthy said the Port Adelaide Guineas later in the season was a stakes option for Chavuma.

“I think each start that he’s having he’s just learning more and will be getting better,” the trainer said.

Chris Symons, who rode the gelding in his first two starts for placings at Moonee Valley and Sandown, is back aboard on Wednesday.

 
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