Barrier Draw Forces State Grade North

Caulfield trainer Clinton McDonald believes his five-year-old gelding State Grade is a big chance in tomorrow’s Triple M Grill Team Handicap at Rosehill after an unlucky third at Moonee Valley last start.

McDonald says that the Redoute’s Choice is still continuing to improve and hasn’t yet reached his best.

“This horse is a bit of a slow learner,” McDonald said.

The trainer is hopeful that blinkers will continue to prove helpful for State Grade in tomorrow’s race.

“He had the blinkers on last start,” he said.

“He’s going well with them and we think he’ll be very competitive on Saturday.”

State Grade will jump from barrier one with jockey Glen Boss on-board.

“He’ll probably (sit) midfield,” McDonald said.

“Glen will work it out (and) from that barrier he has a couple of options.”

McDonald opted to travel State Grade to Sydney rather than remain in Melbourne after he drew wide for the 1,600 metre Handicap at Moonee Valley.

“He drew wide… He drew barrier 17,” the trainer said.

“Knowing my luck at the moment he probably will have been caught wide again.

“(And in Sydney) it’s a nice race. (There is) good prize money up there

“It’s a $70,000 race and it’s a benchmark 80.”

McDonald is unconcerned by today’s heavy rainfall in New South Wales.

“If the track’s dead to slow he’ll be okay,” he said.

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