First up specialist Flamberge has been freshened up as he chases back to back wins in the Group 1 $500,000 Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
Flamberge is the winner of four of his seven first up attempts and collected three Group 1 wins under the care of trainer Peter Moody before he found his way into the yard of Matthew Ellerton and Simon Zahra when Moody handed in his licence at the end of March following his six months suspension for cobalt related charges..
The six year old sprinter races best when the pace is on up front and he finished over the top of the leaders when triumphant in last year’s Goodwood when he beat Lord Of The Sky and Under The Louvre after coming out of barrier sixteen.
Moody had Flamberge firing on all cylinders during this year’s Melbourne Autumn Carnival and after drawing a wide gate again in the Group 1 $500,000 Clamms Seafood Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 27, powered home from back in the field with 58kg to claim victory by a nose over Canberra Sprint Fell Swoop.
Then at his next start Brad Rawiller was able to give the Exceed And Excel gelding the run of the race from barrier two before he claimed the leader Holler to record another nose win in the Group 1 $500,000 Mitchelton Wines William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 24.
But Flamberge failed to fire at his first run for Ellerton and Zahra when last of fifteen behind Chautauqua in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships’ on April 2.
Zahra said that the stable is happy to forget his latest effort and have freshened him up for his assignment on Saturday.
“You need to space his runs. We backed him up going into Sydney and that was always against him,” Zahra told The Advertiser.
“That (the short break between runs) isn’t his go.
“He also hadn’t had a gallop that way of going, either.
“There was a lot of money on offer but it was a bit of a throw at the stumps, really.”
Zahra said that the six year old has settled in well into his new stable and new routine and he is expecting him to be amongst the prizemoney in the feature sprint in Adelaide’s Festival Of Racing.
“He’s settled into our routine nicely. He’s a triple Group 1 winner, so obviously they work good and look good when they’re doing it,” Zahra said.
“He had a jumpout last Friday at Flemington and went nicely. He had a nice blow and now we’re just keeping him fresh into Saturday.”
“He’s spent a bit of time up on the farm and now he’s had a half-dozen gallops just to bring him into race fitness.
“It’s definitely not going to be an easy feat but we can’t have him any better.”
The Darren Weir trained Black Heart Bart heads the market order for the Goodwood at Ladbrokes.com.au at $3.80 while Flamberge is marked as a $15 chance to take the winning trophy home again.
Up and coming sprinter Supido is the winner of his last six starts and is the second pick in the betting at $6 ahead of Newmarket Handicap winner The Quarterback, Under The Louvre at $9 and Tasmanian sprinter Admiral at $13.