Wet track specialist Second Effort will kick off a carefully mapped out winter program for trainer Clinton McDonald in the Listed $100,000 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield tomorrow.
McDonald has selected four feature races he thinks Second Effort will be competitive in before the big guns arrive for the Group 1s in the Spring and the slow 7 at Caulfield tomorrow will be perfect to see if the five year old is up to the task.
“He’s seven from seven in the wet, he’s effective on that type of going and we might as well strike while we can,” McDonald said.
As well as the Monash, McDonald has selected the Group 3 $125,000 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) on July 28, the Group 2 $220,000 Lawrence Stakes (1400m) on August 18 and the Group 2 $220,000 Memsie Stakes (1400m) on September 1, all at his home track at Caulfield.
“Whether we get that far we’ll see,” McDonald said.
“I’m happy to target those races thinking they are the right races for him to be competitive in.”
“He loves the wet and you’ll have a lot of stayers resuming in those weight for age races.”
“He’s only had two goes at 1400m and they were on good tracks, I’ve got no concerns about that especially if we get the right conditions.”
Second Effort was given a freshened up after pulling up sore when he finished well down the track to Curtana in the Listed $100,000 The Straight Six (1200m) at Flemington on May 19 and jockey Danny Nikolic told stewards that the gelding was beaten at the 400m.
Nikolic also explained to the stewards that he allowed Second Effort to run freely but balanced in the early stages and that he was leading clearly in the middle stages however the gelding began to lay out and passing the 500 metres began to labour.
The Flemington failure followed two wins at two runs back from a spell with a surprise first up win over 1000m at Caulfield on April 7 then the race McDonlad had targeted, the Listed $126,000 Midfield Group Wangoon Handicap (1200m) at Warrnambool on May 2, beating Wealth Princess and Glaneuse.
“He wasn’t wound up for that race, his target was the Wangoon, but he was going well enough to win first-up,” McDonald said.
“He had a good preparation and won the race we set him for and now we’ve set him for this race and the Bletchingly.”
“He’s got good residual fitness and we’re happy with where he’s at and he’ll improve on whatever he does.”
Glen Boss is back aboard Second Effort replacing Nikolic who won the Wangoon before Flemington’s below par run.
Boss has first hand experience with Second Effort having won on the five year old in his first up win at Caulfield and will have the option of going forward or slotting in midfield from barrier ten.