Australian Guineas winner Ferlax is set to contest the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 29, with trainer Jim Conlan changing the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival plans for the son of Pentire so he does not meet Atlantic Jewel until the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
Ferlax stamped himself as a legitimate weight-for-contender when he finished second behind glamour mare Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield a fortnight ago and was expected to contest the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley this Saturday.
Conlan is aiming to avoid another meeting with Atlantic Jewel at all costs and will give Ferlax another two week break before the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and run the four-year-old in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) instead of the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) as his final warm-up for the Cox Plate.
The Mornington-based trainer believes that the new path will give Ferlax the best opportunity to win a Group 1 event this spring and will still give him a strong preparation for the Cox Plate and the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m).
“Even though she has gone to the Stocks Stakes this week, in her next couple of races we probably would have ended up clashing with her,” Conlan told Racing Victoria.
“He should also get in really well under the handicap conditions of the Rupert Clarke.
“As long as we can get a top weight of 58kg then it appears as though he may get into the race with 54kg.
“It didn’t require a lot of change to his preparation and from a point of view of keeping him well and on top of his game it was easy for him.
“He really is in great order; it was just a matter of not cranking him straight up again and holding him back that extra week.”
Conlan could have two runners in the 2013 edition of the Cox Plate, with Rekindled Interest, who resumes in the Listed Drummond Golf Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley this afternoon, also on track to contest the race.