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Image: Bruno Cannatelli

The Ciaron Maher stable is banking on a step up in distance being the recipe for success with stablemates Berkshire Breeze and Queen Takes King at Flemington.

The pair are set to appreciate the extra distance of the RDAV Sally Francis Plate (2520m) on Saturday.

Jack Turnbull, Maher’s assistant trainer who oversees the training operation in the south of Melbourne, said the step up in trip for both horses will be beneficial on Saturday.

Berkshire Breeze is an Irish-bred import that will be having his fourth Australian start on Saturday and is coming off an all-the-way victory at Cranbourne over 2025m on May 3.

“All his best form in Europe was over 2400 metres and that’s where he rated best,” Turnbull said.

“He’s had a nice maintenance jump-out in between and hopefully this is part of the plan to get him to bigger spring handicaps in the next couple of months.”

The Cranbourne victory was at benchmark 70 level, but Turnbull said the race was rated well by Maher’s internal data system.

While Saturday’s race is a rise in both class and distance, Turnbull said the gelding was up to it.

“We’re not worried about the class of the race,” Turnbull said.

“The slight question mark with him will be going from the 2000 metres to the 2500 metres, but you have to back the horse.

“He’s aerobically very fit, clean winded and he won with a bit of dominance last time.”

Turnbull said he wouldn’t mind seeing some rain for Queen Takes King who is lining up for the third run of her campaign in which she will be ridden by Jaylah Kennedy.

Queen Takes King was a last start sixth over 2000m at Caulfield on May 11.

“She’s screaming out for the trip and any sort of cut in the ground, she will really appreciate,” Turnbull said.

“She gets a little claim off the minimum, so she gets in with a light weight and she’ll love the big track at Flemington.

“The trip is right, and she could surprise.”

 
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