Trainer Jeff Searle is no stranger around country tracks of Victoria but will be breaking new ground when Tildy Lad runs at Moonee Valley.
The seven-year-old runs in the WT Partnership Handicap (1200m) on Saturday and will be Searle’s first runner at the city course.
Based at Bordertown in South Australia close to the Victorian border, Searle is making one of his rare trips to Melbourne.
He has only had two runners in Melbourne previously, both at Flemington, one more than 20 years ago and the other, Lotto Meo, in 2009.
“We haven’t had the right horse to go across with, so hopefully this bloke is,” Searle said.
Tildy Lad was also an acceptor for a race at Morphettville on Saturday, the scene of his latest success on May 12.
The trip from Bordertown to Moonee Valley is around five hours while it’s roughly three-and-a-half hours to Adelaide, but Searle is heading to Melbourne for a reconnaissance mission with Tildy Lad ahead of a winter break.
“We want to see how he goes at the Valley,” Searle said.
“We think the track will suit him but more so it’s to give him a look at Moonee Valley ahead of the summer meetings they have on a Friday night.
“It’s a nice race, the 1200 suits and the prize money is good too.
“Usually at this time of year we’re looking at putting him out but he’s racing well so we thought we’d give him another run.
“That will give us a guide to where he sits in the pecking order.”
South Australian apprentice Anna Jordsjo will ride Tildy Lad having partnered him to victory twice in his past three starts.
Jordsjo, who has ridden 14 metropolitan winners in Adelaide, will be having her first ride in Melbourne.
“She’s had success on him and rides him well. She knows him so we’ve kept her on,” Searle said.