Red Spyder’s last-start effort went from average to promising in the space of a few strides.
The three-year-old was struggling to stay in contention in the straight in the Bendigo Guineas on March 15 but rallied to finish fourth to the handy Written Up.
The late surge convinced trainer John Salanitri Red Spyder would run well in Saturday’s $250,000 VOBIS Gold Reef (1600m) at Flemington.
“He lost ground before he made ground,” Salanitri said.
“I was waiting for Stephen Baster to give up on him and stop riding but he said he was never going to do that.
“The horse acquitted himself very well.”
Red Spyder was a winner over 1200 metres before steadily climbing in distance at his three subsequent runs.
Salanitri says the Hard Spun gelding showed he was ready for his first crack at 1600m at Bendigo.
“He’s looking for a mile now and even further,” Salanitri said.
“He’s come through his last run really well so I’m looking forward to stepping him out.”
The Caulfield trainer will also start maiden galloper Believe Me in the VOBIS Gold Reef which is restricted to three-year-olds which have been paid up as part of the bonus scheme.
Believe Me finished third at Moe and fourth at Swan Hill at his two runs back from a spell but Salanitri said the gelding was worth testing in tougher company.
“We own him so we are not concerned about throwing him in the deep end a little bit,” Salanitri said.
Salanitri says a genuine tempo would suit both his runners who are likely to settle back in the field at Flemington.
Steven Arnold will ride Red Spyder while Salanitri has booked Dean Holland to partner Believe Me.