Wicked Intent will step back into another era when he resumes against older horses at Doomben on Saturday.
Top-class Brisbane three-year-olds often raced in open company until a decade ago when benchmark and more races for their age group were introduced.
It is now rare for a three-year-old to race against top-grade horses until the winter carnival, but trainer Chris Munce believes the Bluescope Handicap (1050m) is a perfect race in which to start Wicked Intent’s preparation.
“He gets big weights in the three-year-olds and the distance of Saturday’s race is ideal for his comeback run,” Munce said.
Wicked Intent, who started favourite in last year’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic, has shown his class in five stakes races which have yielded a win and two seconds.
The gelding wasn’t seen at his best last preparation and hasn’t run since finishing eighth at Doomben in October.
However, Munce believes the form guide is misleading.
“He was very good first-up last time when he had a huge weight and was third to Blue Desert Moon and Secret Saga who are top-class horses,” Munce said.
“Wicked Intent then went to Sydney where he was well beaten but the winner was Exosphere and they ran very fast time. At his last start he again had a big weight on a wet track so there were excuses.”
Munce said Wicked Intent had only had one jump-out in preparation for Saturday’s race and would be improved.
The former champion jockey turned trainer believes Wicked Intent will be up to winter carnival stakes races, but has no firm plans for gelding.
“There are plenty of three-year-old races or open races for him in the winter. The other option is to head down for the last bit of the Sydney carnival,” Munce said.