Trainer Mick Kent has revealed that he would like to see San Padre settled as close to the speed as possible in the 2014 Victoria Derby at Flemington on Saturday.
San Padre was settled towards the tail of the field in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) last Saturday, but Kent told Racing Ahead this morning that he will be instructing jockey Tommy Berry to attempt to take up a forward position when the Teofilo colt jumps from barrier two in the Victoria Derby this weekend.
“We will be as close as we can be without forcing him off the bridle,” Kent said.
“It was a big key for him to draw well, so that he can be on speed and rolling.
“Ideally you would just have him in a nice rhythm where he can run good sectionals because he can maintain a gallop.
“He doesn’t have a very good change up speed, so we will certainly be making use of the gate.
“The trip is the thing that is going to help him and his asset is his stamina, so we will be trying to make use of that on Saturday.”
San Padre made his racing debut with a narrow win in a maiden over 1717 metres at Sale on September 18 and he battled home fairly for fifth in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on October 4 before he made up decent ground late when eighth in the Moonee Valley Vase last weekend.
Kent said that San Padre was outpaced at the finish in the Moonee Valley Vase, but he believes that the step-up in distance to 2500 metres for the Victoria Derby will be ideal for the promising stayer.
“We can just took the conservative view last week in his first time around the Valley and we did get further back than we wanted in a moderately run race,” Kent said.
“They sprinted away from them, but his last furlong was good and Tommy thought that he went to the line well.
“He is certainly a stayer and he has showed that since early in his career.
“He had a couple of preps as a young horse and we waited for him to be strong enough to go racing and here we are.
“He is a strong, sound colt and he has a bit of muscle to put on, but he has a massive eight metre stride on him and his figures at home show that he will stay alright.
“His heart rate recovery shows that he has a bit motor and we have always seen in his trackwork that he lacked a turn-of-foot, but he can get up on the speed and maintain a gallop.”
San Padre is currently available at 2014 Victoria Derby odds of $21, while Hampton Court ($2.60) remains a clear favourite from Preferment ($6), Bondeiger ($9) and Moonovermanhattan ($9).