Trainer George Osborne admits that Written Up faces the toughest test of his racing career to date in the 2016 Australia Stakes, but he is hopeful that a return to Moonee Valley will help the gelding fire in the Group 2 event.
Written Up took out the Hill Handicap (1200m) at Moonee Valley on November 28 and he has generally produced his best performances at the tight-turning circuit, with the five-year-old yet to miss a start in three race starts at the venue.
Written Up’s fondness for Moonee Valley had the Australia Stakes on the radar of Osborne and the son of Written Tycoon earnt a shot in the feature event after he worked strongly at Kyneton last week.
“I am going to accept,” Osborne told Racing Ahead.
“It is a genuine throw at the stumps especially at weight-for-age.
“I had a few doubts about going that way, but his track gallop last week was as good as any horse leading into a good race over the years.
“He is in great shape.
“We will have a crack, he loves the Valley, so why not.”
Written Up could finish no better than eighth behind Tuscan Sling in the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day, but Osborne was still very happy with the performance of the long-striding gelding.
Osborne said that Written Up did not have any luck in running whatsoever in the Christmas Stakes and he is confident that he can produce an improved performance at Moonee Valley in the Australia Stakes.
“He went terrific,” Osborne said.
“He had a couple of drams there – he got polaxed coming out of the gates and he lost probably two lengths there.
“He just couldn’t track around the turn on the flat surface because there was a little bit of shiftiness.
“He was on the second horses back and by the time he got around the turn he had lost three lengths, but once he balanced up he charged home.
“He needs a cambered track like Moonee Valley to make ground on the turn rather than losing it, which is why he goes better at Moonee Valley than Caulfield.”
Osborne has not had a runner at Group level since Devil finished fourth behind Show Biz Kid in the 2004 edition of the Summer Stakes at Doomben.
The 2016 Australia Stakes field will be released tomorrow and Written Up is set to take on the likes of Rebel Dane, Mourinho, It Is Written and Hucklebuck.