Getting Sebring Sun in a winning frame of mind is trainer Gary Portelli’s focus as the Group One-placed colt sets out on a short winter campaign.
Portelli said the Golden Rose third placegetter had grown physically since he last raced in December but he wanted to make sure his confidence levels were high before thinking about the spring.
Sebring Sun has been entered for two benchmark sprints at Rosehill on Saturday with the 1200m-event the most likely.
“We thought we would give him a couple of runs in the winter time to get him back winning again and get him in the right head space,” Portelli said.
“He lost his way a bit after the Golden Rose.
“Colts can be a bit delicate and he is one who can get nervous.
“He’ll have to carry 60-1/2 kilos on Saturday and we will use Travis Wolfgram’s 1-1/2 kilo claim.
“Sebring Sun has put on about 30 kilograms and is a bigger horse now.
“He’s had two trials and I’ll gallop him with Straturbo on Tuesday morning to make sure he is fit enough to go to the races on Saturday.”
Speedster Straturbo is headed to the Listed Chief De Beers Handicap (1050m) at Doomben on Saturday to try to avenge his last-start defeat in another Listed race at the same track last Saturday week.
Into The Red ran him down to win by a long head and will be among his rivals again.
“Straturbo is the opposite to Sebring Sun,” Portelli said.
“He is a gem of a horse. You could tie him up to the float like they do at horse shows and just send him out to race and he would deliver.”
Among the trainer’s other Rosehill runners is Seeking Asylum who cost herself when she did things wrong at Randwick on Anzac Day when ridden by apprentice Samantha Clenton.
“I got in early and booked Grant Buckley about two weeks ago,” Portelli said.
“He is a strong left-handed whip rider. He has ridden her before and can stand over her which she needs, especially as she is taking on the boys.
“She is a wet tracker so we’re hoping she can be a winter horse for us.”