Four-year-old Folding Gear will begin his Caulfield Cup campaign at Flemington this weekend when he runs in the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap.
Folding Gear will be using the run to prepare for the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes next month.
However, co-trainer Shannon Hope does not believe this Saturday’s race is ideally suited to Folding Gear first-up.
“It is not the ideal race to be starting off in but we have to start somewhere,” Hope said.
“The ideal plan would have been kick off in a 0-89 race over 1200 metres and to claim three kilos on him but the only race like that was at Mornington and that track doesn’t really suit get-back stayers.”
Folding Gear has not had a run since finishing third in the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes at Moonee Valley in March.
“Mentally and physically he has developed and I am more than happy with him, but 1200 metres is going to be a bit short for him and he is probably going to get a bit lost going down the straight,” Hope said.
“If he is running on and can run top eight and pick up $3000 I would be happy.”
Folding Gear will be looking to qualify for a Caulfield Cup run by winning the Naturalism Stakes on September 17.
“We will take the easiest path with him to that race which will tell us which direction we go,” Hope said.
“If he wins the Naturalism he will qualify for the Caulfield Cup and if he doesn’t stay then we have time to freshen him up for something, maybe at Flemington (during the carnival).”
Folding Gear will be ridden by jockey Craig Williams in Saturday’s Aurie’s Star Handicap.