The Lindsay Park operation will saddle two runners in Saturday’s Listed Thoroughbred Club Cup (1200m) at Caulfield, however co-trainer Tom Dabernig has selected Highland Beat as a slightly better chance of winning the feature race.
Highland Beat has more than stamped himself as a colt to follow through a short but impressive racing career so far; claiming two wins and a further three minors through eight competitive appearances.
Having savaged the line for a near-two length win in the Toronado @ Swettenham Handicap (1200m) just under a fortnight ago, Dabernig told Racing Ahead he is expecting the Highland Beat to carry even more improvement into the Thoroughbred Club Cup.
“I thought Highland Beat’s last start win at Sandown was really strong,” Dabernig said.
“If he’s held his form it’s a realistically quick back up, but he’s a horse that’s been racing consistently for a while.
“He’s got to be one of the ones to beat again.”
Dabernig and co-trainer David Hayes have also confirmed Lionhearted in the Thoroughbred Club Cup field and believe the two-year-old is also a competitive chance.
“Lionhearted has come back from Sydney and is a talented and well-bred colt,” Dabernig said.
“He’s drawn a fraction wide and I would have preferred it if he’d drawn in a touch, but he’s also got to have a good chance.
“To split them is difficult but I’d probably have to lean towards Highland Beat on his record at Caulfield.”
Highland Beat debuted to racing for ninth in the Listed Debutant Stakes (1000m) in October, but quickly found form in winning the G1X.com.au Plate (1000m) and running second in the Hyland Race Colours Plate (1200m).
Running tenth in the Magic Millions 2.y.o Guineas (1200m) on the Gold Coast on January 9th, Highland Beat resumed in February for second in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m), but failed to handle the late pace when tenth in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m).
Lionhearted debuted to racing for seventh in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude C&G (1100m) in February; progressing to second in the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) and fourth in the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) before finishing sixth in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1200m) most recently.
Ladbrokes Australia currently rates Highland Beat a $7.50 chance in Thoroughbred Club Cup betting markets, while Lionhearted can be taken at a quote of $11.