Steel Frost is set to begin his campaign at home in Adelaide but trainer Will Clarken has a big race in Melbourne on the radar if the gelding’s form warrants it.
Clarken has also nominated Steel Frost for Saturday’s Listed Regal Roller Stakes at Caulfield but confirmed the plan was to keep the gelding in Adelaide for the Spring Stakes (1200m) on his home track at Morphettville on the same day.
“The prize money is pretty much the same and you’d say the depth of the field is probably going to be a little bit less,” Clarken said.
Steel Frost’s performance could be a springboard to a crack at the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield next month, run under handicap conditions.
“The idea is to kick him off in the Spring Stakes and that will give me the chance to run either in the Penny Edition Stakes two weeks later in Adelaide and then maybe give him a chance in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes off the minimum weight,” Clarken said.
“But that will depend on how he’s going.
“He’s had three starts at Caulfield over the 1400 metres and run really well all three times.”
Steel Frost won two benchmark races over 1400m at Caulfield last spring while in March this year he was beaten less than 1-1/2 lengths when fourth behind Widgee Turf in the Group Three Victoria Handicap.
Steel Frost won a barrier trial by 3-1/2 lengths at Gawler last Friday and Clarken said the six-year-old would wear blinkers on Saturday, the first time he will sport them in a race since joining the stable last year.
“He looks like he enjoys having the blinkers on. He’s very direct and straight,” he said.
“I’m really happy with the way he’s working so it looks like he’s going to be in there with a very good chance.”
The Spring Stakes has 12 nominations, with Dollar For Dollar the highest rated entry while The Regal Roller Stakes has 22 entries.