Western Australian three year old King Saul will have his Sydney Autumn Carnival cut short if he can’t perform well in the Hobartville Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.
Trainer Trevor Andrews is willing to give his three year old some breathing space but if he doesn’t show some return to form in the Group 2 $200,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) he will be returning to Perth.
The Western Australian Guineas winner was having his first run since finishing third to Playing God in the Group 1 $500,000 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot on December 3 when he was a struggling tenth to Hot Snitzel in the Group 2 $175,000 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 18.
“They ran a record (in the Royal Sovereign) and were a bit short and sharp for him, and it was his first time that way.
“The run was only fair but I think he’ll benefit from the hit out and experience. He’s going well he worked well on the main grass on Tuesday and there are no issues with him.”
Andrews would like to see the Flying Pegasus three year old put in at some stage on Saturday so as to give some idea where he is at with the gelding and make a decision if he stays in Sydney for the Group 1 $500,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill on March 31 or heads home to the west.
“It gives us a bit of a yardstick to where we are but he’s got to stand up and be counted his next start or so, otherwise he’ll probably be coming home and we’ll look after him for next time round,” Andrews said.
“I’d like to see him hitting the line a bit. He’s obviously drawn wide, he’s going to get back but you’d like to see them attacking the line a bit to justify going on with it.”
Sydney jockey Brento Avdulla will again be on King Saul and they will be facing virtually the same opposition as the Royal Sovereign with Manawanui and Hot Snitzel heading the list.
If King Saul performs up to expectation on Saturday and pleased Andrews he will then go onto the Group 1 $500,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on March 17 and then step up in distance to the 2000m of the Group 1 $500,000 Rosehill Guineas at Rosehill two weeks later.
King Saul is out of a Zabeel mare and this is tempting Andrews to consider the 2400m of the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Derby at Randwick on April 14 if his form warrants it.
“That was always the plan, to have him cranked up for the Rosehill Guineas when we first got up there,” Andrews said.
“We entered him for the Derby just in case he does get over the ground a bit. It’s all about relaxing with three-year-olds isn’t it, whether they get a trip or not.
“He’s very relaxed. It’s pretty hard to say until you try him but he is out of a Zabeel mare and all that sort of thing.”