Brisbane trainer Kelly Schweida has elected to keep handy sprinter Stella Ombra at home after the gelding drew a bad barrier at Randwick.
Schweida accepted with Stella Ombra and L’Entrecote in the Saturday’s Open Hcp (1200m) at Doomben and with Stella Ombra in the Schweppes Hcp (1200m) at Randwick.
He will still have a Sydney runner with Shogun Sun to run in the 1200m-sprint for three-year-olds at Randwick.
Schweida has made a habit of slipping down to Sydney to win races with horses such as Better Than Ready and Miss Cover Girl.
Stella Ombra joined them as a Sydney winner when he scored at Randwick in June and Schweida always had another Sydney trip with him in the back of his mind.
“But when he drew 14 at Randwick I decided to stay home where he had barrier nine. Jim Byrne has taken the ride,” Schweida said.
“It is a very strong open race for this time of the year and he will need all the help he can get.”
Stella Ombra was sixth in the Rockhampton Newmarket after his Randwick win and has since won in restricted class at the Sunshine Coast.
“The track was a bit hard at Rockhampton but he has been very consistent all around,” Schweida said.
Schweida has given L’Entrecote two trials as the gelding prepares for his comeback run on Saturday.
“He is never a flash trial horse but he is getting fitter. He is down on the minimum here with Ronnie Stewart and a good barrier,” Schweida said.
L’Entrecote’s best form has been from 1350m to 1600m but he has won first-up.
Schweida is hoping Shogun Sun can show he is up to Sydney class and go on to run in the Group One Golden Rose over 1400m on September 23.
“I think it might be a bit short at 1200 metres on Saturday but his last start was very good and I do have an opinion of him,” Schweida said.
Shogun Sun was a strong second at the Sunshine Coast at his last start when he came from the tail of the field after travelling four deep most of the way.
“It was a run which got me thinking he could be up to Sydney,” Schweida said.