Sebring Sun has not been seen at the races in 2016, but trainer Gary Portelli is pleased with the condition of the colt in the lead-up to a likely return to competition at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
Sebring Sun has been a strong and consistent performer for Portelli through ten competitive starts since first appearing on course in late 2014; posting two wins and a further four minors.
Having produced a number of typically game efforts early in spring, including third in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m), the Sebring colt went somewhat amiss in the concluding stages of his campaign and returned to the paddock after failing to beat a single runner home in the Listed Canterbury Classic (1200m) on Boxing Day.
Portelli told AAP he believes Sebring Sun will return to racing a far-better prospect this time, and revealed he will be set for major black type targets in spring.
“We thought we would give him a couple of runs in the winter time to get him back winning again and get him in the right head space,” Portelli said.
“He lost his way a bit after the Golden Rose.
“Colts can be a bit delicate and he is one who can get nervous.
“Sebring Sun has put on about 30 kilograms and is a bigger horse now.
“He’s had two trials and I’ll gallop him with Straturbo on Tuesday morning to make sure he is fit enough to go to the races on Saturday.”
Portelli has entered Sebring Sun in nominations for two benchmark sprint races on the major Sydney card on Saturday, but revealed he is likely to accept a position in the field for the 1200m option with the three-year-old.
“He’ll have to carry 60-1/2 kilos on Saturday and we will use Travis Wolfgram‘s 1-1/2 kilo claim,” Portelli said.
Capping a strong two-year-old campaign fifth in the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m), Sebring Sun resumed in winter for success in the TAB.com.au Maiden (1200m) before making a successful return to black type company when taking out the Listed The Rosebud (1200m) on August 8th.
Placing third in the Group 3 Up & Coming Stakes (1300m) leading into the Golden Rose, Sebring Sun placed tenth in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on October 31st.