Haussman has failed to fire in his two race starts this preparation to date, but Godolphin Racing Manager Jason Walsh believes that the Commands gelding is close to peak fitness for the 2014 Starlight Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Haussman did not run a bad race during his 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign and he was only narrowly denied a maiden win at black type level in the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) at Scone on May 17, but has been unable to replicate that form since returning to racing.
Jockey James McDonald elected to settle Haussman close to the speed in the early stages of the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on September 28, but he was one of the first horses beaten and beaten home just two runners before he was unable to get into the race when sixth behind Dothraki in the Whyte & Gilmour Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 15.
Walsh told Racing Ahead that trainer John O’Shea was happy with the improved effort of Haussmann in the Whyte & Gilmour Handicap and he believes that the five-year-old is capable of returning to a semblance of his best form when ridden closer to the speed in the 2014 Starlight Stakes tomorrow.
“We had to ride him conservatively and his last start was largely about getting him back on track after a less than ideal run at Caulfield earlier in the prep,” Walsh said.
“We thought he showed a little bit more there at his last start and he was probably strongest on the line.
“We may be looking a little bit further in this sort of grade, but a nice gate there will give him a chance to be that bit closer.
“He is in good order and hopefully he can start to get back to somewhere near his best form.
“He did have a bit of a freshen up between Caulfield and that first-up effort here in Sydney and he will come on from it, but there is certainly not a great deal of improvement there.”
Haussman has recorded five wins and ten placings from his 27 race starts to date, but he is still chasing a maiden win at Group or Listed level after finishing second in the 2012 edition of the Red Anchor Stakes and the Luskin Star Stakes earlier this year.
Our Boy Malachi ($2.60) remains a clear favourite in 2014 Starlight Stakes betting markets, while Haussman has been on the drift consistently with Ladbrokes Australia and is out to Starlight Stakes odds of $41 after opening at $26.