Talented colt Rusambo is set to return after a three-month ban but a lack of numbers in the Listed Zeditave Stakes is a concern for his assistant trainer.
Three-year-old Rusambo hasn’t started since his third to Snitzerland in the Group Two Danehill Stakes in September.
The Peter Snowden-trained colt bled during the race and had to spend a mandatory three months out of racing.
Assistant trainer Paul Snowden knows the colt has the ability to win at Caulfield on Saturday but was disappointed the $120,000 race could only attract five acceptors.
And the scratching of Royal Haunt has reduced the field to four.
“He’s back and has been going really well,” Snowden said.
“He’s had plenty of work but it’s disappointing about the field size.”
Rusambo is a colt that likes to settle off the speed and power home but Snowden said a possible lack of pace in a small field could play against his chances.
“It’s going to be one of those races,” he said.
“There’s four in it and the tempo is probably not going to be there,” he said.
Rusambo ($2.80) is on the second line of betting behind Happy Galaxy ($1.50) who has won his past two starts in Sydney.
Happy Galaxy got his own way in front at Rosehill two weeks ago in a race against his own age and won by four lengths.
While Rusambo makes his return at Caulfield, fellow Darley-owned three-year-old Albrecht will take another step towards his Melbourne debut in a jumpout at Flemington on Friday.
The Up And Coming Stakes winner and Group One Golden Rose runner-up has been in Melbourne for 10 days preparing for an Australian Guineas campaign that will kick-off in the Listed Manfred Stakes (1200m) on Saturday week.
“He has a jumpout at Flemington on Friday,” Snowden said.
“I saw him in Sydney last time in and he’s a bigger and stronger horse than last preparation, that’s for sure.
“He’s got a lot of talent and hopefully we can get to the top with him this time in.”