Stakes winning colt Uate makes a belated start to his spring campaign at Randwick on Saturday with added fitness on his side.
Trainer Kris Lees originally planned to kick off the Skyline Stakes winner’s spring campaign in the Group Two Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) on October 1.
However the Newcastle-based conditioner felt the three-year-old needed more time after he finished second to Stratana in a barrier trial on his home track last month.
Uate, who also boasts a Group One second to Helmet in the AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes to Helmet, won a trial at Wyong last week and is set to return in Saturday’s Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) in a campaign defining race.
“He trialled nicely,” Lees said.
“The track was heavy and it was hard to get a line as there were only two 1000 metre trials but he ran a lot faster time than the other 1000 metre heat.
“He did it easily enough but he was there to have a nice hitout. He relaxed well and was tractable which was important for him because he could get a bit wayward at times last preparation.”
Lees said he thought the colt needed the extra trial rather than running in the Group Two event first-up.
“He just missed a bit of work leading into his previous trial and he had a bit of a blow after that first trial,” he said.
“I just thought he needed another trial.”
The obvious target for Uate would be to head to Melbourne after the Brian Crowley and take on last season’s champion juvenile Sepoy in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington two weeks later.
But his performance on Saturday will be telling.
“I think that will decide which way we go,” Lees said.
Uate has won three of his five starts and amassed more than $200,000 prize money.
The colt will be ridden in the Brian Crowley by Jim Cassidy who had a field day at Rosehill on Saturday with a treble including the Listed Angst Stakes aboard Little Surfer Girl.