Top Melbourne jockey Craig Newitt is hoping the addition of blinkers to He’s Your Man will help the import find that extra sprint that could see him win the Listed $120,000 Sportingbet Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Newitt has been aboard Chris Waller’s French import at his two Australian starts and said that he felt like a lot of the overseas horses who just grind away at the end of their races.
The experienced rider added that to be able to rise to the top level in Australia, the European horses have to learn to sprint at the finish and he is hopeful that the blinkers will help He’s Your Man find that little bit extra acceleration at the end of the 2000m on Saturday.
“He is really a nice horse but as most of these European horses do when they first come over he just lacks acceleration,” Newitt told the Sportsman.
“His two starts in Australia have been well short of his best trip. He gets out to 2000m for the first time and I would think he will be very hard to beat.”
“I think he is a very good horse and I think he is going to measure up to the better races here, he just has to find a little bit of sprint in him.”
He’s Your Man was a winner of two races over 2400m at Lyon parilly in France before entering the Waller stable and since arriving in Australia has had two starts over the unsuitable distances of 1400m and 1720m, both at Flemington.
The Cape Cross five year old ran second first-up to Anlon over 1400m on New Year’s Day then was sent out the favourite when third to Eraset over 1740m on January 18.
After He’s Your Man runs on Saturday, he will head to Mornington for the Listed $350,000 Mornington Cup on February 12 over his favourite distance of 2400m.
And a win in the Mornington Cup gives automatic entry into this year’s Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 18.
Newitt has been happy with the imports two runs to date and is also relying on the Waller magic to help him take that extra step.
“Chris seems to eventually find a bit of sprint with them and if he can do that with this bloke he will definitely measure up to Group races,” Newitt said.
“In his two runs he’s been right there at the top of the straight at Flemington, three or four have gone straight past him and put four or five lengths on him quickly then he’s only been beaten a length and a half or two.”
The step up in distance and the knowledge that there is going to be genuine pace in the race will also be an enormous advantage for Newitt.
Gai Waterhouse’s exciting front running stayer Laidback Larry is taking the step up in class after leading all of the way to score by four and a half lengths over 2000m in a BenchMark 85 Handicap at Randwick on January 18.
Laidback Larry, Damien Oliver in the saddle, is searching for his fifth straight win and bookies have installed him the $2.20 favourite ahead of the Darren Weir trained Prince Of Penzance at $4.50 and He’s Your Man at $4.80.