Tim Martin is conscious of not overtaxing talented three-year-old Pampelonne in his first preparation and plans to steer clear of Melbourne for the time being.
The impressive debut winner tackles Saturday company for the first time at Rosehill this weekend in the Churchills Sports Bar Handicap (1200m).
“It’s only his first preparation and I want to keep him here and run him at Rosehill on Saturday and then again in a fortnight,” Martin said.
“There’s good prizemoney here, he’s a BOBS horse, and he’s still learning so he can learn here rather than running down there.
“There is a race in Melbourne for him that he could go to later on in the spring but I’ll just see.”
Pampelonne made a big impression with an easy win on debut at Warwick Farm last month.
The son of Rock Of Gibraltar was ridden like the best horse in the race by Hugh Bowman in the 1100m maiden and Pampelonne did the rest, running away to a two-length victory.
“We had high expectations leading into that race, he had shown us a lot on the track and it was just nice to see him do it on race day,” Martin said.
“We thought that’s what he would show, we expected he would win with authority.
“We’ve always had a big opinion of him but it just took him a bit of time and we gave him the time he needed. I don’t know what level he’ll get to but he’s a promising horse.”
Martin was hoping the Joe Pride-trained Toffler, who finished second to Pampelonne, would confirm the form by winning at Canterbury on Wednesday but Toffler ran into another smart one when finishing second to the Chris Waller-trained debutant Said Com.
Martin ruled out the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) in Melbourne for Pampelonne later this month, especially after seeing the outstanding Sepoy win the Manikato Stakes against older horses last week.
Pampelonne has barrier two for Saturday’s one-metropolitan win event for three-year-olds and will be ridden by Christian Reith.
“He hasn’t gone backwards, he’s gone forward and his work has been bright,” Martin said.
“Every race is a test and Saturday is another big step up for him.
“I think the horse of Guy Walter’s will be the hardest to beat and it should be a good race.”
The Walter-trained Exceed And Exalt raced four times last season including a third placing in the Group Two Pago Pago Stakes (1200m).
Exceed And Exalt will start from barrier three in Saturday’s eight-horse field.