Trainer Peter Snowden is confident that Limes can maintain his good form when he returns to Melbourne for the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on January 11.
Limes started his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a disappointing 13th place finish in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 5, but his performances have improved significantly the further he has got into his preparations.
The Commands gelding battled home fairly when fifth behind Longport in the Emirates Airline Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on November 9 and had no luck when sixth behind the classy White Sage in the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 30.
Limes went close to recording his maiden win at Group level with a second place finish in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1550m) at the Randwick Kensington track on December 14 before recording a much deserved win a week later in the ATC Membership On Sale Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens.
“His run in the Villiers was excellent and then his next start was better,” Snowden told AAP.
“The horse has come into form and these horses, once they strike a bit of form like that, they do get confidence from that.”
“Hopefully he builds on it again on Saturday.”
Limes was rated a Group 1 prospect as a juvenile and performed well in his maiden race campaign during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival without breaking through for a victory; finishing fourth in the Group 3 Skyline Stakes (1200m), third in the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m), third behind Pierro and All Too Hard in the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and sixth in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m).
He recorded his maiden race winat Gosford when he returned to the races as a three-year-old but was unable to record a metropolitan race victory, despite going close in the Listed Vintage Stakes (1410m), the Listed Gothic Stakes (1400m) and the Listed Hilton Hotels Stakes (1400m).
Limes finally broke through for the second victory of his racing career in the Listed Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) on May 4, defeating Boban and Ashokan, before finally scoring a metropolitan win at her last start.
The Darley-owned galloper is currently a narrow favourite in 2014 Chester Manifold Stakes betting markets, at odds of $3.60, from Darren Weir-trained Anlon ($3.90) and Team Cummings-trained The Peak ($5.50).