Melbourne youngster Direct Charge on trial for bigger riches when he competes in the $85,000 TAB Number One Club Plate (1000m) at Warwick Farm tomorrow.
Trainer Robbie Laing is keen to give Direct Charge experience in racing the Sydney way of going heading towards the $250,000 2013 Inglis Classic (1200m) at Rosehill in two weeks.
“I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t handle it,” Laing said.
“Right from when he was broken in we worked the Sydney way on Wednesdays and Fridays and since we decided to come to Sydney with him, this preparation he has worked Sydney way probably five out of every seven mornings.”
Laing has left no stone unturned and is confidence that Direct Charge will live up to expectations when he steps out for his first run since winning the Group 3 $150,000 The Hong Kong Jockey Club Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at Flemington on November 10.
“His last six or seven gallops have all been Sydney way. He had his final hit-out on the steeple grass and went 1000m and ran home his last 400m in 25 and cornered beautifully,” Laing said.
Laing has aimed the Charge Forward colt to peak in a fortnight but has him forward enough to run out a strong 1000m at his first run for eight weeks.
“He’s not right at his top but he’s probably just where you’d want him to be running over 1000m,” Laing said.
“He’s a bit fresh and this race will just take the edge off him a bit to step to the 1200m.”
Laing will return to Melbourne with Direct Charge after running in the Inglis Classic and is happy to miss the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 23 in preference to the Group 2 $220,000 Henry Bucks Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on March 9.
“We’ll be happy if we can win or place in the Inglis Classic then he’ll come home and just take things easy,” Laing said.
“We’re not going to run him in the Blue Diamond and will probably look at the Sires’ Produce at Flemington and if he runs in the top three, we might come up later in the Autumn for the Champagne.”
“We’ll just dodge the big ones at the moment, we’re trying to play it smart and dodge around the edge and win plenty of stake money.”
Direct Charge will have to impress Laing immensely to suggest a Golden Slipper campaign but the top Melbourne trainer will aim for the Group 1 $400,000 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on April 27.
Direct Forward will be coming up against smart Sydney filly Twilight Royale who has already collected prizemoney from the Inglis Bonus Scheme by winning the first race of the Inglis Race Series in taking out the $250,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m) at Warwick Farm on December 22.
Tomorrow’s two year old race will also see the debut appearance of many well-bred youngsters including the Northern Meteor filly Swing Vote from the Gai Waterhouse stable, Commands filly Calming Influence from the Chris Waller stable and the Not A Single Doubt gelding Dee Dee Flyer from the Patrick and Wayne Webster partnership.
Twilight Royale has been posted the early favourite at $4.40 with Swing Vote, $5, Dee Dee Flyer, $6, and the Team Hawkes trained Dalton, $7, next in the betting while Direct Charge is a $7.50 chance.