Mick Price says he couldn’t be happier with Testa My Patience who is shooting for his fifth straight win at Flemington on Saturday.
The Testa Rossa four-year-old made it four in a row when he defeated the smart Launay over 1600m at Caulfield on March 26.
On Saturday he comes up against another very much in-form galloper in Flat Chat in the National Jockeys Trust Hcp (1600m) which should prove to be the highlight of the meeting.
“He’s going great. I couldn’t be happier with him,” Price said.
“He’s gone through his grades. He was a bit lucky to beat Launay who drew one at Caulfield and I don’t think Launay liked being in amongst horses.”
Price said while Testa My Patience handles soft ground he would most likely be spelled for the winter and brought back in the spring.
“The timing isn’t right for him to go for the Winter Championship Final because he will have had enough by then,” he said.
The Winter Championship series starts with the first of seven heats at Cranbourne on May 15 with the $200,000 Final (1600m) at Flemington on July 9.
The winner of five of his nine starts with three placings, Testa My Patience drew barrier two and will be ridden by Peter Mertens who won on the gelding last start.
The John Sadler-trained Flat Chat, chasing his fourth straight win, looms as the obvious danger.
A six-length winner from Tasmanian Derby winner Mourinho over 1523m at Moonee Valley on April 2, Flat Chat is one of the most improved gallopers in the state.
The Giant’s Causeway gelding, winner of six of his 23 starts, gets in with 51.5kg after the 2kg allowance is taken for leading apprentice Jake Noonan who has won twice on him.
Testa My Patience has to give Flat Chat a 3.5kg weight advantage.
Price has a strong hand at the meeting with two other last-start city winners in Tariana in the My Room Plate (1100m) and Barangaroo in the Western Chances Hcp (1400m).
Noonan takes the mount on the unbeaten Tariana who narrowly beat Roulettes over 1100m at Caulfield on March 26, while apprentice Jordan Mallyon will ride equal topweight Barangaroo who stormed home to beat La Praline over 1200m at Moonee Valley on April 2.