Trainer John Sadler has revealed that Group 1 winner Linton could contest the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday before heading overseas for the Group 1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m).
Linton was set to run in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday but was pulled out of the race after suffering from a fever during the week.
Sadler told Racing Ahead that the son of Galileo has recovered from the fever and will likely run in the Kevin Heffernan Stakes this weekend so that he is primed for a his maiden overseas tilt next month.
“He seems as good as gold again,” Sadler said on RSN.
“It was just Thursday and Friday that we were concerned about him; he seemed alright on Saturday but it would have been a big risk to run him so we had no hesitation pulling him out.
“He may run Saturday; he will be an acceptor, because he hasn’t had a run in five weeks this Saturday.
“I would like to give him the hit out there in the 1200m to bring him to the top for the mile, which will be three weeks later.
“We just wanted to have a look at him for the rest of the week but there is probably not much doubt.”
The Group 1 Hong Kong Mile has always been the major target for Linton this preparation but Sadler revealed that the seven-year-old is set to push on to Dubai, after the Group 1 event at Sha Tin, under the care of a new trainer.
“The intention is to take him to Honk Kong for the Hong Kong Mile and then he leaves us and goes on to Dubai,” Sadler said.
“I would more than likely say he would go to a new stable.
“He would be heading off after the meeting at Sha Tin and it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for us to have one of our staff members over there for that period of time.
“It hasn’t actually been spoke about as of yet but I would imagine that he would leave our care after Hong Kong and go to another trainer to Dubai.”
Linton has had a great deal of success since joining the stable of Sadler, winning the Group 3 R A Lee Stakes (1600m) in Adelaide and the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) in Brisbane, but the veteran trainer admits that the popular grey will have to be at his very best to be competitive against what is set to be a strong field in the Hong Kong Mile.
“He doesn’t have a problem at all going right-handed so that is not going to hurt our chances,” Sadler said.
“As for the race itself, I’ve never been over to this meeting before but I’ve obviously watched it.
“I’m told that it won’t be big in numbers but quality wise it will be a pretty strong race.”
Sadler has the chance to become the first Australian trainer to win the Hong Kong Mile since the great Bart Cummings who won the 1997 edition of the race with Catalan Opening.