There won’t be a $55,000 bonus cheque for country trainer Andrew Murray if Sunday Escape happens to win at Flemington.
Not that the Sale horseman will mind.
Sunday Escape runs over 1000m at Flemington on Saturday after winning the final race of the 55-second challenge at Moonee Valley at his latest outing in March.
He clocked 54.75 seconds to earn Murray the $55,000 trainer’s bonus for the horse recording the fastest time in a series of races over 955m at Moonee Valley during the night racing season.
Now it’s down to business again for the seven-year-old who will be chasing his seventh win from 41 starts on Saturday.
“All he has to do is get through a gallop tomorrow,” Murray said.
“He’s had a nice freshen-up and now we can only hope for a bit of winter rain for him.
“That’s they key to him winning a bit better race going forward.”
Sunday Escape has proven a consistent performer at Flemington where he’s won two of his six starts, finishing third once and being on the placegetters heels on another two occasions.
“He likes the Strathayr at Moonee Valley and he likes Flemington,” Murray said.
“He likes that gradual build-up at Flemington.
“It suits his style. He hasn’t got a big turn of foot but he can keep building up at that speed and hold that speed.”
With winter approaching Murray said he will keep Sunday Prayer in work giving him a couple of maintenance runs ahead of potential Group and Listed races ahead of the spring carnival.
Murray said he had learned from previous experience to not turn the gelding out for a spell.
“We’ve tipped him out in the past and it’s been a really big job to get him back, so we’ll keeping him ticking over and do a few different things with him until the spring,” Murray said.
With regular rider Dwayne Dunn heading to Morphettville on Saturday, Murray said Craig Newitt would be offered the ride.