There aren’t too many opportunities to race over 3200 metres at Flemington.
One is the Melbourne Cup, the other is Saturday’s Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes.
With the exception of up-and-coming three-year-old Runaway, there doesn’t appear to be a 2018 Melbourne Cup contender among the remaining 22 nominations.
But with $200,000 prize money on offer, it’s still a more than handy winning cheque for the winner.
Self Sense, who is successfully mixing hurdling and flat racing, is expected to take his place on Saturday with Luke Nolen in the saddle.
Trainer David Brideoake says only a firm track would stop the rising eight-year-old from running.
“I’m happy enough to run him there. It seems logical,” Brideoake said.
“The track might be some concern but it looks like there might be a bit of rain towards the end of the week.
“He’s ready for it and in great shape.”
Brideoake has Saturday week’s $125,000 Australian Hurdle at Sandown in mind for Self Sense and is happy to go straight there if Flemington is too firm.
Self Sense made his jumps debut with a 10-length victory in a maiden hurdle at Pakenham last month before winning the VOBIS Gold Heath over 2000m at Caulfield six days later.
He has since finished second in the Wagga Cup (2000m) on May 4.
“The ground at Wagga was first-rate,” Brideoake said.
“It had beautiful thick kikuyu and about eight mils of rain the night before.
“You could not have ordered a better track.”
Since the Wagga Cup, Self Sense has schooled over hurdles at Cranbourne last week to keep his eye in.
“He had a canter around just for a refresher course,” Brideoake said.
“We thought he was quite good with what he did and we’re happy with him.
“He can have a run around on Saturday and we’ll see how it pans out.”
Saturday’s outing will be his first try over 3200m on the flat, but that is not too much of a concern for Brideoake.
“I’m confident he’ll run it as he’s in premium shape,” Brideoake said.
“My gut feeling is it’s the best I’ve ever had him.”
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