A love of jumping has kept Self Sense in Melbourne rather than attemping back-to-back Ipswich Cup victories.
Self Sense won last year’s Ipswich Cup in dominant fashion but with the jumps season in full swing, and being unbeaten over hurdles, the decision was made to stay home and chase some lucrative money.
With six weeks between his Australian Hurdle victory at Sandown and the Kevin Lafferty Hurdle at Warrnambool on July 8, Self Sense has a hit-out on the flat on Saturday in the GJK Facility Services Plate at Moonee Valley.
With trainer David Brideoake holidaying, assistant Alex Woodhams said the stable had considered a return to Queensland but noted the toll it can take if you can’t fly up and back.
“We’ve got our sights set on some pretty good prize money races over the hurdles like the Kevin Lafferty and then maybe on to the big one (Grand National) at Sandown,” Woodhams said.
“We contemplated a couple of other races in Brisbane but with the way the track conditions were up there we didn’t want to risk him.
“There’s some beautiful staying races here that he can tick over in along with plans to run in more hurdle races.”
Woodhams said the stable had the option to run Self Sense over 2500m at Flemington on Saturday week but the Moonee Valley race suited his program.
He said Self Sense would not have a hurdle school before the Lafferty although the gelding was likely to pop over a few jumps at Mornington to get his eye back in.
“His fitness levels are exceptionally good and he’s been ticking over nicely since his last run,” Woodhams said.
“Fitness isn’t an issue, it will be more to keep him focused and get him back on the job.”
Woodhams will also saddle last-start Ballarat winner Kings Brook in the Ladbrokes Info Hub Handicap.
He said the filly had improved from her win on June 7.
“Her coat looks exceptional for a horse at this time of the year,” he said.
“It’s hard to fault her and it looks a suitable race for her off a good draw.”