Trainer Kris Lees is hoping the decision to make a late entrance to the spring fold with Uate will pay dividends when the Group-winning colt returns next month.
Uate exceeded expectations during his two-year-old season, progressing from a maiden win at Newcastle to a Group winner and Group One placegetter.
Connections made the decision to give the colt a long winter spell to help him furnish and he will make a late carnival appearance in Sydney on Epsom Handicap day on October 1.
“We gave him a bit longer spell because he had a hard two-year-old campaign,” Lees said.
“We’ll let the better ones sort themselves out and then we’ll come in late. He’ll resume in the Roman Consul Stakes on Epsom Day.”
The Group Two Roman Consul (1200m) is a set weights event for three-year-olds.
Named after flying Newcastle Knights winger Akuila Uate, the colt made his debut on his home track at Newcastle in early February and won by 1-1/2-lengths.
From there the son of Ad Valorem ventured to town and impressed in a three-length midweek win on the Kensington track before taking out the Group Three Skyline Stakes (1200m) by the barest of margins over Hot Snitzel.
Connections opted not to pay the late entry into the Golden Slipper and it almost reaped a great reward the following week in the Group One Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) where Uate was denied victory by just half a length when second to Helmet.
Uate ended his juvenile season with an eighth in the Champagne Stakes (1600m) also won by Helmet.
“He’ll trial at Broadmeadow on the 20th of September and I’m really happy with him,” Lees said.
“He just needed that extra time and I think it has really benefited him. He looks really well.”
Lees said Uate’s spring goals were likely to be determined by his first-up performance.
“That race is a good start off point, it’s a Group Two and we can work out from there what level he’s at,” he said.
“At some stage he might get down to Melbourne.”
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