Saab Hasan is hoping for a soft track at Flemington tomorrow and revealed that Voila Ici will be scratched from the Banjo Paterson Series Heat 5 unless the surface is rated in the slow range.
Viola Ici joined the Hasan stable before the start of his winter campaign and has found a semblance of his best form in his last four starts; finishing fourth in the Cleanevent Handicap (1800m) at Flemington on May 10, second in the Boscastle Handicap (2040m) at Moonee Valley on June 7 and third in the Dominant Cafetto Handicap (2040m) at Moonee Valley on June 21.
The veteran stayer’s only poor performance came on a good track in an earlier heat of the Banjo Paterson Series at Flemington on May 24 and Hasan told Racing Ahead that he will not run the nine-year-old on a firm surface this weekend.
“He has come through like a three-year-old and he has really done well,” Hasan said.
“His blood is perfect and his attitude has been great.
“I rode him this morning and he felt terrific, but I won’t start him unless it is a slow track and Flemington has a habit of drying out very quick.
“Unless we get rain tonight or tomorrow morning he won’t run.”
While Hasan is worried about the state of the Flemington track, he is delighted with the form of Voila Ici and is confident that the son of Daylami will be tough to beat if he contests the Banjo Paterson Series this weekend.
Hasan believes that Voila Ici will be suited by the step-up to 2520 metres and is hoping that the tough front-runner will be given an easy time in front before kicking away from the rest of the field in the final stages of the race.
“I think that he will really appreciate the soft track and his run was good the other day,” Hasan said.
“As it turned out, the way the race was run didn’t suit him, but I am keen to get him beyond 2000 where he can just roll to the front .
“That is what he likes to do and if they want to chase him they can.
“He is a tough stayer and he is racing well because even when he gets headed he is fighting back, which is terrific for a nine-year-old.
“If he takes part tomorrow he will be hard to beat.”
Voila Ici is currently available at odds of $9 with Ladbrokes Australia, while Sacred Flyer ($2.40) is a clear favourite from Zuma Roc ($6), Gotta Take Care ($7.50), Hannaford ($8) and Crafty Cruiser ($8.50).