Colin Scott has revealed that he will scratch the in-form Speediness from the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on Saturday, if the track is too firm.
The Flemington track was rated a good 3 last Saturday and a number of horses, most notably Puissance De Lune and Sangster in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m), failed to let down fully on the firm surface.
Caulfield is expected to be in the good range on Saturday and Scott told Racing Ahead this morning that he is desperate for a bit of rain to soften up the track before the Toorak Handicap this weekend.
“We are definitely hoping for a bit of rain,” Scott said.
“It is a very firm track and if the track presents at a good 2 we would be highly unlikely to go around.”
While the track is clearly a concern for Scott, he is full of confidence that Speediness will be highly competitive in the Group 1 event this weekend.
The Testa Rossa gelding was the run of the race in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last Sunday, finishing within half a length of the winner Rebel Dane after being caught wide and at the back of the field in the early stages of the race, and Scott believes the six-year-old will be even better when he steps back up to a mile on Saturday.
“It doesn’t matter how many times you watch it, he doesn’t finish any closer,” Scott said of Speediness’ run in the Rupert Clarke.
“It is what it is now and we move forward and hope for a bit better luck on Saturday.
“I think that it is his best trip; he has a good record at the trip.
“He gets in fairly nicely at the weights and he is really, really well.
“He worked super yesterday morning, he came through the gallop well and we are looking forward to Saturday.”
Speediness will be ridden by leading New Zealand jockey James McDonald for the first time in the Toorak Handicap on Saturday and Scott said the promising young rider will get a chance to ride his star galloper in the lead-up to the race.
“He is flying in on Thursday night and he will ride him on Friday morning,” Scott said.
“He will only ride him quiet but it will be enough.
“He is a lovely horse and it will be nice for James to see just how nice and relaxed he is at the track.”
Speediness is set to press on to the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on October 26 and the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 9 if he performs well on Saturday.