Trainer David Brideoake admits he wrestled with the decision not to run Self Sense in a stakes race on the flat at Flemington.
Self Sense had topweight of 60kg in the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes at Flemington on Saturday which was to be the lead-up to the Australian Hurdle at Sandown a week later.
Brideoake had some restless nights before eventually withdrawing the gelding on race morning.
It wasn’t an easy decision for Brideoake who said the 3200m race at Flemington, which carried $200,000 prize money, may have been one that got away.
Flemington’s meeting started off in the slow range before being upgraded to good after three races.
“Having topweight of 60 kilos on a track that was always going to firm up just didn’t sit easy with me,” Brideoake said.
“So I took the temptation of running him away by scratching him at 6am.
“There’s nothing wrong with him and we’ll press on to the hurdle on Saturday.”
The Australian Hurdle and the Australian Steeplechase are the two feature races at Sandown on Saturday.
The two races are the only ones run on a city track at a Saturday meeting for the 2018 jumps season that began in March and ends in September.
Self Sense has only raced once over jumps, winning a Pakenham maiden hurdle by 10 lengths last month.
He came out six days later to win a 2000m flat race at Caulfield.
Brideoake then made the decision to run Self Sense in the Wagga Cup on May 4 rather than take him to Warrnambool for a novice hurdle the previous day on ground which may have been too firm.
Self Sense finished second in the Wagga Cup and is one of 16 nominations for Saturday’s 3400m race.
Last season’s Grand National Hurdle winner Ancient King heads the list along with Galleywood Hurdle winner Two Hats.
The Australian Steeplechase, over the same distance, has attracted 14 nominations, including last year’s winner Gold Medals who recently won the Brierly and Grand Annual Steeplechases at Warrnambool during the May carnival.
Abebe, Don’t Be Shy, Getting Leggie and Valediction have been nominated for both races.