Trainer Brian Jenkins is hopeful that his gelding Allanthus will be the one to reward him with his third consecutive Banjo Paterson Series Final at Flemington tomorrow.
Jenkins won the last two year’s races with his talented nine-year-old gelding Figure Of Speech.
Despite the fact that Allanthus has only had one race so far this prep, Jenkins believes he has taken all measures to ensure the horse is fit.
Jenkins has put Allanthus through two recent hurdle trials in order to prepare him for the big race.
“He’s fit enough,” Jenkins said.
“You can get them fit in those hurdle trials without hurting them so I’m not worried about that, but the barrier draw makes it hard.”
Allanthus has drawn barrier 16 for the Banjo Paterson and believes this will be his toughest test.
The trainer is choosing to rely on the judgement of jockey Dwayne Dunn to make the decision to either ride forward or hang back after jumping from the wide gate.
A successful run this weekend would give the green light for Allanthus to begin Melbourne spring carnival preparations.
“I wanted to give him a couple of winter races and then a three-week break so I can have him up for the spring,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins is hoping to secure Allanthus a start in the $6 million Melbourne Cup this November.
While the Banjo Paterson winner passes the first balloting clause for the Melbourne Cup, Allanthus would be required to win one of the eligible ballot exempting races to gain entry.
Therefore, The Lexus Stakes, Herbert Power Stakes and Geelong Cup are all on Allanthus’ spring agenda.
“We will put a Melbourne Cup nomination in for him but he would have to win a Lexus or Geelong Cup before we entertain running in that,” Jenkins said.
While Jenkins is hopeful Allanthus will emerge victorious tomorrow, trainer Heath Conners is hoping Davcon will be able to bring an end to a long losing streak in the race.
Davcon finished second last start after being run down by Sermon despite having a long lead coming into the straight.
“He had no option but to go when he did and he’s run a terrific race,” Conners said.
“It was a shame because he deserves to win one.”