Trainer Matthew Dunn has revealed that the major 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival target for popular gelding The White Hope will be decided after he runs in the Listed Bribie Handicap (1110m) at Doomben on Saturday.
The White Hope has been included in the nominations for the both the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 24 and the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7, but Dunn admits that The White Hope will have to improve on his performances during his summer preparation to be worth of a start at the highest level of racing.
“He has been entered for some of the better races, but it is a little bit wait and see as he comes up,” Dunn said.
“Last preparation it is fair to say that he was disappointing and he needs to step-up to be any chance in any of the bigger races over the carnival.
“We will make a decision on which direction we head after Saturday.”
The White Hope developed a cult following when he recorded three straight wins leading from start to finish at the end of 2012, highlighted by a dominant win in the 1300 Go Broncos Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm, but Dunn said that the Bradbury’s Luck gelding will not necessarily take up the running in the Bribie Handicap this weekend.
Dunn said that The White Hope performed well when ridden just behind the speed when second behind Noogoora Burr in the Mount Franklin Sparkling Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on February 1 and confirmed that he will leave the riding instructions up to regular jockey Glen Colless.
“It is just going to depend on tempo,” Dunn said.
“I think that we proved last preparation before he spelled that he can be ridden off the speed and still race well.
“Glenn is just going to have to make that decision.
“All of his good wins and early in his career when he was racing well he was leading and he was putting horses off the bridle a long way out.
“If tempo doesn’t allow him to lead on Saturday we are more than happy to take a sit.”
Dunn will also be represented in the 2014 Bribie Handicap by QFighter, who is returning to the races for the first time since he finished towards the tail of the field in the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on December 21, while Our Boy Malachi will make his debut at Listed level and is chasing his 12th straight victory.