Trainer Bruce Hill has opted to run Startsmeup in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap at Rosehill this weekend after a light weight allocation led him to pursue the handicap path this spring.
Startsmeup was allotted 58.5 kilograms for the alternate option in the weight-for-age George Main Stakes and just 53 kilograms in the Bill Ritchie Handicap.
“His last two runs he’s had to carry 57 kilos at weight-for-age,” Hill said.
“He’s got 5.5 kilos less in the Bill Ritchie compared to the George Main which is quite a big difference.”
Hill will use this Saturday’s run as a test for the Group 1 Epsom Handicap in October.
“At this stage he’s heading to the Epsom but he’ll need to win on Saturday to warrant a start,” he said.
Startsmeup finished sixth in the Chelmsford Stakes last start after being forced to lead all the way.
“He pulled up really well after his last run and has trained on well,” Hill said.
“He had to do a lot of work last start when no-one wanted to lead.
“All the donkey work was done by him in front and then he was annoyed by another runner and still only got beaten about three lengths.”
The Danzero gelding has won four of his 19 career starts and placed third in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes this preparation.