Imported galloper Slow Pace is set to run in the 2014 Craven Plate rather than the Group 1 Epsom Handicap at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Slow Pace was included in the nominations for the Epsom Handicap and would get into the race well with 52 kilograms on his back, but trainer Kris Lees told Racing Ahead that the Distorted Humor gelding was set to step-up to 2000 metres in the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m).
“He is in two races, but at this stage we will head to the Craven Plate,” Lees said.
“It is only his second run in, but I think that the Epsom is a bit beyond him and I think that he can run well in the Craven Plate with the view that it will top him off for something down the line.”
Slow Pace started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign in the Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) at Newcastle on September 17 and he worked home fairly to finish seventh behind Hooked.
The Cameron Handicap was run at a farcical pace that did not suit Slow Pace, or any other horse in the field outside of Hooked, but Lees believes that the six-year-old has taken plenty of benefit out of his first-up run.
“He was strong through the line,” Lees said.
“They walked up front in the small field, which is how the race looked like it would be run, and he has taken good improvement out of it.
“He had a solid hit out on the course proper at Broadmeadow this morning and his coat still hasn’t quiet come through, but I think this run will top him off and I think that he has a nice win in him at some stage.”
Slow Pace has been included in the nominations for both the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 11 and the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 4, but Lees said that he will be setter his sights lower with the Australian Bloodstock-owned galloper when he heads to Melbourne.
“He will probably come down for the David Jones on Caulfield Cup Day and that would be an attractive race and at the right level for him,” Lees said.
A number of talented gallopers were included in the Craven Plate nominations and Slow Pace is set to faces the likes of Moriarty, Rising Romance, Brambles, Kirramosa and Villanova.