John Sargent will settle for the lesser of three races as former Hong Kong stayer Banksters Bonus shoots for successive wins on Saturday.
Banksters Bonus has been nominated for the Brisbane Cup at Doomben and the Stayers Cup at Randwick but Sargent said the last-start Canterbury winner was never a realistic chance of running in either race.
Instead, Banksters Bonus will take his place in a 2000m benchmark event at Randwick after scoring with authority under Danny Beasley at Canterbury last week.
And if Banksters Bonus can prove himself for a second time against Sydney’s restricted-class stayers, Sargent will be tempted to explore end-of-carnival options in Queensland.
Beasley navigated a ground-saving route on Banksters Bonus but the partnership has been split for Rosehill.
“Danny already had a ride because we weren’t putting Banksters Bonus in until we saw the nominations,” Sargent said.
Apprentice Brodie Loy will take over and he will claim 3kg on the seven-year-old who found his way to Australia when his form dropped away in Hong Kong after showing staying promise in Ireland.
Banksters Bonus won two races at Happy Valley but he was unplaced in his last 12 Hong Kong starts.
“He just didn’t settle into Hong Kong so that’s how he came to me,” Sargent said.
Sargent said giving ex-Hong Kong thoroughbreds time to acclimatise in Australia was the key to getting results with horses which might otherwise be ready for a retirement paddock.
“You give them a good break, let them settle in and then bring them up slowly,” Sargent said.
Sargent has the Tattersall’s Cup in mind as a possible Queensland target.
Stablemate Super Mover is also a Stayers Cup entry but he will go around against midweek opposition at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
The Stayers Cup attracted an extra nomination after entries were extended with the Chris Waller-trained Our Voodoo Prince and Kevin Moses’ Singing Flame the highest-rated runners.