Dual Group 1 winner Foreteller has been ruled out of the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday; with trainer Chris Waller electing to save the import for the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) next weekend.
Foreteller has performed well during his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign but Waller has been unsure which race should be the ultimate target for the six-year-old.
The Dansili gelding stamped himself as a Cox Plate contender with his upset victory over Puissance De Lune in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 7 but finished a disappointing 12th, after the race was not run to suit, at his next start in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 21.
Waller has decided that the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) will be the main aim for Foreteller; although he refused to rule out a possible tilt at the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) depending on how the Ranvet Stakes winner fared in the Caulfield Stakes next Saturday.
“The goal with Foreteller is the Mackinnon Stakes and his preparation is being tailored to have him in the best possible condition for that race,” Waller told TVN.
“As a result I don’t want to burn him out too quickly so we will wait another week and head to the Caulfield Stakes.
“If he was to win that race we would consider the Cox Plate but I think he would probably by-pass Moonee Valley and just go straight to the Mackinnon.”
Waller will still have the opportunity to record his first ever win in the Turnbull Stakes; with Royal Descent and Hawkspur both set to be included in the final field that will be released later this morning.
Royal Descent has performed consistently without winning this preparation, finishing second in both the Group 3 Toy Show Quality (1300m) and the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m), and will be ridden by Craig Newitt for the first time this weekend as she continues to build towards the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Hawkspur is also on track for the Caulfield Cup and Waller is hopeful that the four-year-old can recapture the form that saw him win the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) in dominant fashion after he finished a disappointing fourth in the George Main Stakes.